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ACS Nano. 2017 Oct 24;11(10):10012-10024. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.7b04230. Epub 2017 Oct 2.

Bifunctional Tellurium Nanodots for Photo-Induced Synergistic Cancer Therapy.

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National Engineering Research Center for Nanomedicine and College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology , Wuhan 430074, China.
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Yunnan University , Kunming 650071, China.
Zhejiang Province Key Laboratory of Anti-Cancer Drug Research, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University , Hangzhou 310058, China.
CAS Key Laboratory for Biomedical Effects of Nanomaterials and Nanosafety, Center of Excellence for Nanosciences, National Center for Nanoscience and Technology of China , Beijing 100190, China.
School of Pharmacy, Air Force Military Medical University , Xi'an 710032, China.


Elemental tellurium (Te) nanoparticles are increasingly important in a variety of applications such as thermoelectricity, photoconductivity, and piezoelectricity. However, they have been explored with limited success in their biomedical use, and thus a tremendous challenge still exists in the exploration of Te nanoparticles that can treat tumors as an effective anticancer agent. Here, we introduce bifunctional Te nanodots with well-defined nanostructure as an effective anticancer agent for photo-induced synergistic cancer therapy with tumor ablation, which is accomplished using hollow albumin nanocages as a nanoreactor. Under near-infrared light irradiation, Te nanodots can produce effective photothermal conversion, as well as highly reactive oxygen species such as •O2- and dismutated •OH via a type-I mechanism through direct electron transfer, thereby triggering the potent in vivo hyperthermia and simultaneous intracellular reactive oxygen species at tumors. Moreover, Te nanodots possess perfect resistance to photobleaching, effective cytoplasmic translocation, preferable tumor accumulation, as well as in vivo renal elimination, promoting severe photo-induced cell damage and subsequent synergy between photothermal and photodynamic treatments for tumor ablation. These findings provide the insight of elemental Te nanodots for biomedical research.


albumin nanocage; photodynamic therapy; photothermal therapy; tellurium nanodot; tumor ablation

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