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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2015 Sep 23;7(37):20556-67. doi: 10.1021/acsami.5b06552. Epub 2015 Sep 9.

Smart IR780 Theranostic Nanocarrier for Tumor-Specific Therapy: Hyperthermia-Mediated Bubble-Generating and Folate-Targeted Liposomes.

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Tianjin Key Laboratory of Drug Delivery & High-Efficiency, School of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, Tianjin University , 300072 Tianjin, People's Republic of China.


The therapeutic effectiveness of chemotherapy was hampered by dose-limiting toxicity and was optimal only when tumor cells were subjected to a maximum drug exposure. The purpose of this work was to design a dual-functional thermosensitive bubble-generating liposome (BTSL) combined with conjugated targeted ligand (folate, FA) and photothermal agent (IR780), to realize enhanced therapeutic and diagnostic functions. This drug carrier was proposed to target tumor cells owing to FA-specific binding, followed by triggering drug release due to the decomposition of encapsulated ammonium bicarbonate (NH4HCO3) (generated CO2 bubbles) by being subjected to near-infrared (near-IR) laser irradiation, creating permeable defects in the lipid bilayer that rapidly release drug. In vitro temperature-triggered release study indicated the BTSL system was sensitive to heat triggering, resulting in rapid drug release under hyperthermia. For in vitro cellular uptake experiments, different results were observed on human epidermoid carcinoma cells (KB cells) and human lung cancer cells (A549 cells) due to their different (positive or negative) response to FA receptor. Furthermore, in vivo biodistribution analysis and antitumor study indicated IR780-BTSL-FA could specifically target KB tumor cells, exhibiting longer circulation time than free drug. In the pharmacodynamics experiments, IR780-BTSL-FA efficiently inhibited tumor growth in nude mice with no evident side effect to normal tissues and organs. Results of this study demonstrated that the constructed smart theranostic nanocarrier IR780-BTSL-FA might contribute to establishment of tumor-selective and effective chemotherapy.


IR780; bubble thermosensitive liposomes; doxorubicin; folate-receptor targeted; hyperthermia-mediated; tumor chemotherapy

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