Two-photon active nucleus-targeting carbon dots: enhanced ROS generation and photodynamic therapy for oral cancer†
Novel conjugated carbon dots (CDs) were synthesized as two-photon active photosensitisers to unleash lethal reactive oxygen species (ROS) for nucleus-targeting photodynamic therapy (PDT). To enhance the therapeutic efficiency and preclude non-specific CD uptake, we employed a combination of folic acid and curcumin for two-photon NIR-triggered ROS generation and enhanced internalization in the nucleus. Consequently, enhanced destruction of cancer cells occurred by directly attacking the DNA. The intrinsic ROS generation and nucleus-targeting ability of CDs introduced multifunctional two-photon active nanoprobes within a single platform for enhanced PDT in oral cancer theranostics.