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Adv Mater. 2018 Jun;30(23):e1707509. doi: 10.1002/adma.201707509. Epub 2018 Apr 30.

Activatable Semiconducting Theranostics: Simultaneous Generation and Ratiometric Photoacoustic Imaging of Reactive Oxygen Species In Vivo.

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Key Laboratory for Organic Electronics and Information Displays & Institute of Advanced Materials (IAM), Jiangsu National Synergetic Innovation Center for Advanced Materials (SICAM), Nanjing University of Posts & Telecommunications, Nanjing, 210023, China.
Laboratory of Molecular Imaging and Nanomedicine (LOMIN), National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD, 20892, USA.
MOE Key Laboratory for Analytical Science of Food Safety and Biology, College of Chemistry, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou, 350108, China.


Enhancing the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is an effective anticancer strategy. However, it is a great challenge to control the production and to image ROS in vivo, both of which are vital for improving the efficacy and accuracy of cancer therapy. Herein, an activatable semiconducting theranostic nanoparticle (NP) platform is developed that can simultaneously enhance ROS generation while self-monitoring its levels through ratiometric photoacoustic (PA) imaging. The NP platform can further guide in vivo therapeutic effect in tumors. The theranostic NP platform is composed of: (i) cisplatin prodrug and ferric ion catalyst for ROS generation, a part of combination cancer therapy; and (ii) a ratiometric PA imaging nanoprobe consisting of inert semiconducting perylene-diimide (PDI) and ROS activatable near-infrared dye (IR790s), used in ratiometric PA imaging of ROS during cancer treatment. Ratiometric PA signals are measured at two near-infrared excitation wavelengths: 680 and 790 nm for PDI and IR790s, respectively. The measurements show highly accurate visualization of OH generation in vivo. This novel ROS responsive organic theranostic NP allows not only synergistic cancer chemotherapy but also real-time monitoring of the therapeutic effect through ratiometric PA imaging.


ROS generation; cisplatin; ratiometric photoacoustic imaging; synergistic cancer therapy; theranostics

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