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Leveraging a polycationic polymer to direct tunable loading of an anticancer agent and photosensitizer with opposite charges for chemo–photodynamic therapy

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Abstract

Herein, we reported a primary amine containing polycationic polymer to load an oppositely charged anticancer drug (doxorubicin, DOX) and a photosensitizer (chlorin e6, Ce6) for combinational chemo–photodynamic therapy. The electrostatic interactions as well as other multiple interactions between the polymer and payloads endowed the drug-loaded nanoparticles with excellent stability. Moreover, the electrostatic attraction between the cationic polymer and anionic Ce6 dictated that Ce6 had higher loading efficiency than DOX. DOX showed pH-responsive drug release owing to the increased solubility of protonated DOX and reduced interaction with the partially protonated polymer under acidic conditions. In contrast, Ce6 showed pH-insensitive release because of the smaller change in solubility and the intense interactions between Ce6 and the polymer. Synergistic chemo/photodynamic therapy of 4T1 cancer cells was achieved by light-triggered reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated enhanced cellular uptake and effective endo/lysosomal escape of drug-loaded nanoparticles. Our study demonstrated that the polycationic polymer could act as a robust carrier for differential loading and release of oppositely charged cargos for combinational therapy.

Graphical abstract: Leveraging a polycationic polymer to direct tunable loading of an anticancer agent and photosensitizer with opposite charges for chemo–photodynamic therapy

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Article information


Submitted
29 Oct 2019
Accepted
12 Dec 2019
First published
18 Dec 2019

J. Mater. Chem. B, 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Paper

Leveraging a polycationic polymer to direct tunable loading of an anticancer agent and photosensitizer with opposite charges for chemo–photodynamic therapy

M. Zhao, S. Wan, X. Peng, B. Zhang, Q. Pan, S. Li, B. He and Y. Pu, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9TB02400J

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