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Improve the photodynamic detection and therapy of cancers with gold nanorods

J-Y Chen
Fudan university, Shanghai, China, CN

Keywords: photodynamic therapy of cancers, photosensitizer, gold nanorods, fluorescence enhancement


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has been established as a new modality to treat cancers. Although the sulfonated aluminium phthalocyanine (AlPcS), an effective photosensitizer, is frequently used in PDT research, the slow and low cellular uptake limits their PDT efficiency. In this work, the negatively charged AlPcS were linked to CTAB coated gold nanorods (AuNRs), due to the electrostatic force, with a loading content of 104 AlPcSs/rod. A five-fold fluorescence increase was obtained in AlPcS-AuNRs facilitating the cancer detection. The excitation fluorescence spectrum of the AlPcS-AuNRs with a typical 520 nm band fits well with the resonance band of AuNR surface plasmons, suggesting an enhancement mechanism of surface plasmons coupling. The AuNRs carried AlPcS into cancer cells, confirmed by the AlPcS fluorescence image and AuNRs reflectance image. The cellular AlPcS further performed PDT to destroy cancer cells after being exposed to red light, indicating that AuNRs enable to deliver a therapeutic dose of AlPcSs to cells. Whereas no phototoxicity was seen when cells have been treated with the same amount of free AlPcSs. In addition, the loaded AlPcS can be photothermally released from AuNRs in cells by an 800 nm laser irradiation, showing the potential for a controlled drug release.
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