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Chem Sci. 2018 Jul 27;9(37):7390-7399. doi: 10.1039/c8sc02408a. eCollection 2018 Oct 7.

pH/hypoxia programmable triggered cancer photo-chemotherapy based on a semiconducting polymer dot hybridized mesoporous silica framework.

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MOE Key Laboratory for Analytical Science of Food Safety and Biology , State Key Laboratory of Photocatalysis on Energy and Environment , College of Chemistry , Fuzhou University , Fuzhou 350116 , P. R. China . Email:
The United Innovation of Mengchao Hepatobiliary Technology Key Laboratory of Fujian Province , Mengchao Hepatobiliary Hospital of Fujian Medical University , Fuzhou 350025 , P. R. China . Email:
Key Laboratory of Biomedical Information Engineering of Ministry of Education , Institute of Biomedical Analytical Technology and Instrumentation , School of Life Science and Technology , Xi'an Jiaotong University , Xi'an 710049 , P. R. China.
Department of Anesthesiology , Beijing Anzhen Hospital , Capital Medical University , Beijing 100029 , P. R. China.


Although photothermal therapy (PTT) has become a compelling strategy for cancer therapy, few studies concern the physiological consequences of PTT ablation. Herein, we discover that PTT-induced hyperthermia can aggravate tumor hypoxia, which may increase the risk of tumor recurrence and reduce PTT efficacy. We thus integrated the pH/hypoxia-triggered Fe(iii)-banoxantrone (AQ4N) prodrug and semiconducting polymer dots (SPs) for programmable triggered cancer photothermal-chemotherapy. A SP-hybridized mesoporous silica framework, decorated by dopamine and polyethylene glycol, named PPMSF, was synthesized by a simple method, and then served as an efficient photo-absorbing agent (PTA) and drug carrier. Fe(iii)-AQ4N and Mn(ii) were then coordinated with PPMSF (abbreviated Mn-APPMSF) via coordination effects. The nanohybrids exhibited tumor micro-environment pH triggered drug release. Under the irradiation of NIR light, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tracked the accumulation of the nanohybrids in tumors which then destroyed tumor cells by local hyperthermia, this can consequently aggravate the tumor hypoxia levels. Intriguingly, the aggravated hypoxia can further enhance the reduction of AQ4N to significantly improve therapeutic efficacy and effectively inhibit tumor growth when compared with traditional PTT. These results indicate the potential of our nanohybrids as a programmable synergistic agent for cancer therapy.

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