One-pot synthesis of hollow PDA@DOX nanoparticles for ultrasound imaging and chemo-thermal therapy in breast cancer†
Constructing nanocarriers with high drug loading capacity is a challenge, which limits the effective delivery of drugs to solid tumors. Here, we reported a one-pot synthesis of hollow nanoparticles (NPs) encapsulated by doxorubicin (DOX) and modified with polydopamine (PDA) to form PDA@DOX NPs for breast cancer treatment. PDA@DOX NPs demonstrated exceptionally high capacity (53.16%) for loading DOX. In addition, when PDA@DOX NPs were administered systemically, they exhibited responsive aggregation in the tumor sites and demonstrated a good controlled release effect for DOX due to the weak acidic environment of the tumor sites and targeting near-infrared (NIR) light irradiation. The PDA outer layer absorbed the near-infrared (NIR) light and facilitated simultaneous generation of heat energy for destroying the tumor cells to release the drug upon NIR irradiation. Moreover, this NIR-activated combined/synergistic therapy exhibited remarkably complete tumor growth suppression in a breast cancer mouse model. Importantly, NPs exhibited a good ultrasound performance both in vitro and in vivo, which could monitor the treatment process. In conclusion, this NIR-activated PDA@DOX NP system is demonstrated as a good US-guided combination (chemotherapy + PTT) therapy platform with high loading capacity and controlled drug release characteristics, which is promising for the treatment of breast cancer.