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Biotechnol Bioeng. 2018 May;115(5):1340-1354. doi: 10.1002/bit.26536. Epub 2018 Jan 29.

Gold nanorod-photosensitizer conjugates with glutathione-sensitive linkages for synergistic cancer photodynamic/photothermal therapy.

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Graduate School of Energy Science and Technology, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea.
Department of Physical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea.
Department of Chemical Engineering Education, College of Education, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea.


Recently, photodynamic therapy (PDT) has been intensively investigated as a useful modality for the treatment of various cancers. In addition, near infrared (NIR) photothermal therapy (PTT) using gold nanocarriers has attracted particular interest as a hyperthermia strategy. In this study, gold nanorod (AuNR)-photosensitizer conjugates with glutathione-sensitive linkages were designed for PDT and PTT. Several kinds of AuNRs with different aspect ratios were synthesized and modified with FA-conjugated block copolymers (FA-PEG-P(Asp)-DHLA) and Chlorin e6 (Ce6) as a photosensitizer. The surface-modified AuNRs showed excellent stability and solubility in aqueous solution. In particular, FA-PEG-P(Asp)-DHLA-AuNR100-SS-Ce6 with a 3.84 aspect ratio exhibited strong photothermal effects, enhanced singlet oxygen generation, and marked phototoxicity. Based on these results, we suggest that AuNR-photosensitizer conjugates with glutathione-sensitive linkages have potential application in PDT/PTT for effective clinical treatment of various cancers.


drug delivery; gold nanorod; photodynamic therapy; photothermal therapy; targeting

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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