Self-destructive PEG–BODIPY nanomaterials for photodynamic and photothermal therapy†
Photoactive nanoparticles are an important platform for multimodal imaging and phototherapy of tumors. Herein, amphiphilic photosensitizers were made from boron dipyrromethene (BODIPY) and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG2k) by using a thioketal linker, which is reactive oxygen species-responsive. The photosensitizers could form stable nanoparticles in aqueous solution. The resulting nanoparticles could simultaneously produce heat and reactive oxygen species upon irradiation to achieve combined photothermal and photodynamic therapy. The produced singlet oxygen could destroy the thioketal linker, and accelerate the destruction of nanoparticles. In addition, the near-infrared fluorescence and photoacoustic imaging ability of nanoparticles can reflect the biodistribution and destiny of nanoparticles. This work highlights the application of integrated diagnostic and therapeutic photosensitizers in carriers.