Hybrid Vesicular Assemblies for Cancer Imaging and Therapy

Z. Nie
University of Maryland,
United States

Keywords: cancer imaging, nanoparticles


Both inorganic and organic (or polymeric) nanoparticles (NPs) have been widely explored for therapeutic and diagnostic applications. Among others, inorganic NPs are attractive for the treatment, diagnosis, and detection of tumors, because of their unique features as compared with their organic and polymeric counterparts. For this purpose, single NPs are often used and functionalized with organic or polymeric ligands to improve their stability, biocompatibility and functionality. While single NPs are attractive, the self-assembly of NPs can yield materials with new or advanced properties that are different from their individuals. For example, the organization of gold NPs allows for tuning the absorption of NP ensembles in the near-infrared window which is highly desired for in vivo applications. The clustering of magnetic NPs within micelles dramatically increases the magnetic resonance imaging contrast and responsiveness to external magnetic field. It is, therefore, expected that the ability to design assembled structures with tailored spatial arrangement of NPs may facilitate the utilization of inorganic NPs in biomedical applications. In this talk, I will present our efforts to develop new strategies for the self-assembly of polymer-functionalized inorganic NPs into functional hybrid materials and to evaluate the hybrid assemblies for cancer imaging and treatment. Specifically, I will focus on the design and application of vesicular structures containing gold NPs, magnetic NPs or both for effective multimodality cancer imaging (i.e., photothermal, photoacoustic, and magnetic resonance imaging) and combinational cancer therapy (i.e., photothermal ablation of tumor, photodynamic therapy, and targeted delivery-based chemotherapy).