Optically controlled hybrid metamaterial of plasmonic spiky gold inbuilt graphene sheets for bimodal imaging guided multimodal therapy†
The development of multifunctional molecular diagnostic platforms for the concordant visualization and treatment of diseases with high sensitivity and resolution has recently become a crucial strategy in cancer management. Thus, engineering functional metamaterials with high therapeutic and imaging capabilities to elucidate diseases from their morphological behaviors to physiological mechanisms is an unmet need in the current scenario. Here, we report the design of a unique hybrid plasmonic nanoarchitecture for targeted multiple phototherapies of breast cancer by simultaneous real-time monitoring through fluorescence and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) techniques. The nanoframework consisted of plasmonic gold-graphene hybrids tethered with folic acid-ligated chitosan-modified photosensitizer (PpIX) to afford target-specific localized photothermal and photodynamic therapy. The hybrid vehicle also served as an excellent nanocarrier for the efficient loading and stimuli-responsive release of the chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin (DOX) to enhance the therapeutic efficacy, thereby forming a trimodal nanomedicine against cancer. The cytotoxic effects induced by the cumulative action of the triplet therapeutic tools were visualized through both fluorescence and SERS imaging channels. Moreover, it also generated synchronized therapeutic effects resulting in the effective regression of tumor volume without propagating any toxic effects to other organs of the animals. Taken together, by virtue of strong light–matter interactions, the nanoprobe showed enhanced photoadsorption, which facilitated amplified light-reactive therapeutic and imaging efficacies along with targeted and enhanced chemotherapy, both in vitro and in vivo, which may offer promising outcomes in clinical research.