Advances in Cancer Nanotechnology for Photodynamic and Photothermal Therapy

A special issue of Pharmaceutics (ISSN 1999-4923). This special issue belongs to the section "Nanomedicine and Nanotechnology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2023) | Viewed by 24154

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Surgery and Cancer, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK
Interests: drug delivery; photodynamic therapy; nanoparticles; cancer treatment
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Laser Research Centre, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 17011, Johannesburg 2028, South Africa
Interests: PDT; laser; cancer therapy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In this Special Issue, we will focus on recent advances in nanotechnology for cancer treatment.

The commercialization of oncology drugs carries significant risks in delivering therapeutic and diagnostic agents safely. Therefore, research and development in cancer nanotherapeutics and nanodiagnostics have paved a new avenue to lessen the risks associated with conventional drugs. Nanoparticles (NPs) are potential candidates to enhance the efficacy of drugs in the clinical stage. In addition, the combination of photodynamic (PDT) and photothermal therapy (PTT) as non-invasive and site-specific treatment modalities with nanotechnology has been utilized to eradicate cancer tumor cells. This Special Issue aims to publish high-quality research papers and reviews focusing on the design, synthesis, and applications of nanoparticles and nanostructures in the photodynamic and photothermal therapy of various cancers. Research topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • photodynamic therapy
  • photothermal therapy
  • organic/inorganic nanoparticles
  • nanomedicines
  • passive and active targeting
  • drug delivery
  • nanocarriers
  • nano-based drug delivery systems
  • polymeric NPs/micelles
  • liposomes

Dr. Hanieh Montaseri
Prof. Dr. Heidi Abrahamse
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • cancer nanotechnology
  • photodynamic therapy
  • photothermal therapy
  • drug delivery
  • nanomedicine

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Published Papers (14 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 1253 KiB  
Article
A Photoactive Supramolecular Complex Targeting PD-L1 Reveals a Weak Correlation between Photoactivation Efficiency and Receptor Expression Levels in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Tumor Models
by Pietro Delcanale, Manuela Maria Alampi, Andrea Mussini, Claudia Fumarola, Maricla Galetti, Pier Giorgio Petronini, Cristiano Viappiani, Stefano Bruno and Stefania Abbruzzetti
Pharmaceutics 2023, 15(12), 2776; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics15122776 - 14 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 957
Abstract
Photo-immunotherapy uses antibodies conjugated to photosensitizers to produce nanostructured constructs endowed with targeting properties and photo-inactivation capabilities towards tumor cells. The superficial receptor density on cancer cells is considered a determining factor for the efficacy of the photodynamic treatment. In this work, we [...] Read more.
Photo-immunotherapy uses antibodies conjugated to photosensitizers to produce nanostructured constructs endowed with targeting properties and photo-inactivation capabilities towards tumor cells. The superficial receptor density on cancer cells is considered a determining factor for the efficacy of the photodynamic treatment. In this work, we propose the use of a photoactive conjugate that consists of the clinical grade PD-L1-binding monoclonal antibody Atezolizumab, covalently linked to either the well-known photosensitizer eosin or the fluorescent probe Alexa647. Using single-molecule localization microscopy (direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy, dSTORM), and an anti-PD-L1 monoclonal antibody labelled with Alexa647, we quantified the density of PD-L1 receptors exposed on the cell surface in two human non-small-cell lung cancer lines (H322 and A549) expressing PD-L1 to a different level. We then investigated if this value correlates with the effectiveness of the photodynamic treatment. The photodynamic treatment of H322 and A549 with the photo-immunoconjugate demonstrated its potential for PDT treatments, but the efficacy did not correlate with the PD-L1 expression levels. Our results provide additional evidence that receptor density does not determine a priori the level of photo-induced cell death. Full article
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13 pages, 3891 KiB  
Article
Porphyrin as a Cryoprotectant for Graphene Oxide-Coated Gold Nanorods to Produce Conjugated Product with Improved Stability and Opto-Phototherapeutic Properties
by Thabang Calvin Lebepe, Rodney Maluleke, Nande Mgedle and Oluwatobi Samuel Oluwafemi
Pharmaceutics 2023, 15(11), 2538; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics15112538 - 27 Oct 2023
Viewed by 773
Abstract
Graphene oxide (GO) as a coating material for gold nanorods (AuNRs) has gained interest in reducing toxicity and improving the photothermal profiling of AuNRs. However, there is still a challenge regarding the storage of colloidal suspensions of GO-coated AuNRs (GO@AuNRs). Hence, the conjugation [...] Read more.
Graphene oxide (GO) as a coating material for gold nanorods (AuNRs) has gained interest in reducing toxicity and improving the photothermal profiling of AuNRs. However, there is still a challenge regarding the storage of colloidal suspensions of GO-coated AuNRs (GO@AuNRs). Hence, the conjugation of GO@AuNRs to meso-tetra-(4-sulfonatophenyl)porphyrin (TPPS4), an anionic water-soluble porphyrin, has been reported to enhance their re-dispensability and improve their phototherapeutic properties. The AuNRs and GO were synthesised using seed-mediated and Hummers’ methods, respectively. The GO@AuNRs were conjugated to TPPS4 and characterised using ultraviolet–visible–near-infrared (UV-Vis-NIR) spectroscopy, zeta analyser, dynamic light scattering (DLS), photoluminescence spectroscopy (PL), x-ray diffraction (XRD), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) before freeze-drying. The results showed that the AuNRs were sandwiched between GO and TPPS4. After freeze-drying, the freeze-dried conjugate was dispensed in deionised water without adding cryoprotectants and its properties were compared to those of the unfreeze-dried conjugate. The results showed that the freeze-dried conjugate contained similar optical properties to the unfreeze-dried conjugate. However, the bare GO@AuNRs showed a change in the optical properties after freeze-drying. These results revealed that porphyrin is an excellent additive to reduce the freeze-drying stress tolerance of GO@AuNRs. The freeze-dried conjugate also showed both singlet oxygen and photothermal properties of GO@AuNRs and porphyrin. These results indicated that the freeze-dried conjugate is a promising dual photodynamic and photothermal agent, and porphyrin can act as a cryoprotectant. Full article
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21 pages, 5213 KiB  
Article
The Efficacy of Zinc Phthalocyanine Nanoconjugate on Melanoma Cells Grown as Three-Dimensional Multicellular Tumour Spheroids
by Nkune Williams Nkune and Heidi Abrahamse
Pharmaceutics 2023, 15(9), 2264; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics15092264 - 31 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1179
Abstract
Melanoma remains a major public health concern that is highly resistant to standard therapeutic approaches. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an underutilised cancer therapy with an increased potency and negligible side effects, and it is non-invasive compared to traditional treatment modalities. Three-dimensional multicellular tumour [...] Read more.
Melanoma remains a major public health concern that is highly resistant to standard therapeutic approaches. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an underutilised cancer therapy with an increased potency and negligible side effects, and it is non-invasive compared to traditional treatment modalities. Three-dimensional multicellular tumour spheroids (MCTS) closely resemble in vivo avascular tumour features, allowing for the more efficient and precise screening of novel anticancer agents with various treatment combinations. In this study, we utilised A375 human melanoma spheroids to screen the phototoxic effect of zinc phthalocyanine tetrasulfonate (ZnPcS4) conjugated to gold nanoparticles (AuNP). The nanoconjugate was synthesised and characterised using ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, a high-resolution transmission electron microscope (TEM), dynamic light scattering (DLS), and zeta potential (ZP). The phototoxicity of the nanoconjugate was tested on the A375 MCTS using PDT at a fluency of 10 J/cm2. After 24 h, the cellular responses were evaluated via microscopy, an MTT viability assay, an ATP luminescence assay, and cell death induction using annexin propidium iodide. The MTT viability assay demonstrated that the photoactivated ZnPcS4, at a concentration of 12.73 µM, caused an approximately 50% reduction in the cell viability of the spheroids. When conjugated to AuNPs, the latter significantly increased the cellular uptake and cytotoxicity in the melanoma spheroids via the induction of apoptosis. This novel Zinc Phthalocyanine Nanoconjugate shows promise as a more effective PDT treatment modality. Full article
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18 pages, 4164 KiB  
Article
Locally Administered Photodynamic Therapy for Cancer Using Nano-Adhesive Photosensitizer
by Yoshiki Komatsu, Toru Yoshitomi, Van Thi Hong Doan, Hiromi Kurokawa, Saori Fujiwara, Naoki Kawazoe, Guoping Chen and Hirofumi Matsui
Pharmaceutics 2023, 15(8), 2076; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics15082076 - 03 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1151
Abstract
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a great potential anti-tumor therapy owing to its non-invasiveness and high spatiotemporal selectivity. However, systemically administered photosensitizers diffuse in the skin and the eyes for a long duration, which cause phototoxicity to bright light and sunlight. Therefore, following PDT, [...] Read more.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a great potential anti-tumor therapy owing to its non-invasiveness and high spatiotemporal selectivity. However, systemically administered photosensitizers diffuse in the skin and the eyes for a long duration, which cause phototoxicity to bright light and sunlight. Therefore, following PDT, patients must avoid exposure of to light and sunlight to avoid this phototoxicity. In this study, we have developed a locally administered PDT using nano-adhesive porphyrin with polycations consisting of quaternary ammonium salt groups (aHP) as a photosensitizer. The aHP, approximately 3.0 nm in diameter, adhered the negatively charged cell membrane via electrostatic interaction. The aHP localized to the endosome via cell adhesion and induced apoptosis upon 635 nm light irradiation. On being administered subcutaneously on the tumor, 30% of the injected aHP remained in the administered sites. However, low-molecular-weight hematoporphyrin dihydrochloride (HP) disappeared due to rapid diffusion. PDT with locally administered aHP showed a higher anti-tumor effect after light irradiation at 635 nm for three days compared to low-molecular-weight HP. Intraperitoneal administration of HP caused severe phototoxicity upon irradiation with ultraviolet A at 10 J cm−2, whereas aHP did not cause phototoxicity because its diffusion into the skin could be suppressed, probably due to the high-molecular weight of aHP. Therefore, locally administered PDT with aHP is a potential PDT having high therapeutic efficacy without phototoxicity. Full article
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13 pages, 2780 KiB  
Article
Near-Infrared Fluorescent Hydroxyapatite Nanoparticles for Targeted Photothermal Cancer Therapy
by Gayoung Jo, Yoonbin Park, Min Ho Park and Hoon Hyun
Pharmaceutics 2023, 15(5), 1374; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics15051374 - 29 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1335
Abstract
Near-infrared (NIR) fluorophores have attracted great attention due to their excellent optical and photothermal properties. Among them, a bone-targeted NIR fluorophore (named P800SO3) contains two phosphonate groups, which play important roles in binding with hydroxyapatite (HAP) as the main mineral component of bones. [...] Read more.
Near-infrared (NIR) fluorophores have attracted great attention due to their excellent optical and photothermal properties. Among them, a bone-targeted NIR fluorophore (named P800SO3) contains two phosphonate groups, which play important roles in binding with hydroxyapatite (HAP) as the main mineral component of bones. In this study, biocompatible and NIR fluorescent HAP nanoparticles functionalized with P800SO3 and polyethylene glycol (PEG) were readily prepared for tumor-targeted imaging and photothermal therapy (PTT). The PEGylated HAP nanoparticle (HAP800-PEG) demonstrated improved tumor targetability with high tumor-to-background ratios (TBR). Moreover, the HAP800-PEG also showed excellent photothermal properties, and the temperature of tumor tissue reached 52.3 °C under NIR laser irradiation, which could completely ablate the tumor tissue without recurrence. Therefore, this new type of HAP nanoparticle has great potential as a biocompatible and effective phototheranostic material, which enables the use of P800SO3 for targeted photothermal cancer treatment. Full article
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17 pages, 2294 KiB  
Article
Cerium End-Deposited Gold Nanorods-Based Photoimmunotherapy for Boosting Tumor Immunogenicity
by Yanlin Feng, Yumei Xu, Zhaoyang Wen, Xin Ning, Jianlin Wang, Deping Wang, Jimin Cao and Xin Zhou
Pharmaceutics 2023, 15(4), 1309; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics15041309 - 21 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1648
Abstract
Background: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) was closely related to high metastatic risk and mortality and has not yet found a targeted receptor for targeted therapy. Cancer immunotherapy, especially photoimmunotherapy, shows promising potential in TNBC treatment because of great spatiotemporal controllability and non-trauma. However, [...] Read more.
Background: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) was closely related to high metastatic risk and mortality and has not yet found a targeted receptor for targeted therapy. Cancer immunotherapy, especially photoimmunotherapy, shows promising potential in TNBC treatment because of great spatiotemporal controllability and non-trauma. However, the therapeutic effectiveness was limited by insufficient tumor antigen generation and the immunosuppressive microenvironment. Methods: We report on the design of cerium oxide (CeO2) end-deposited gold nanorods (CEG) to achieve excellent near-infrared photoimmunotherapy. CEG was synthesized through hydrolyzing of ceria precursor (cerium acetate, Ce(AC)3) on the surface of Au nanorods (NRs) for cancer therapy. The therapeutic response was first verified in murine mammary carcinoma (4T1) cells and then monitored by analysis of the anti-tumor effect in xenograft mouse models. Results: Under near-infrared (NIR) light irradiation, CEG can efficiently generate hot electrons and avoid hot-electron recombination to release heat and form reactive oxygen species (ROS), triggering immunogenic cell death (ICD) and activating part of the immune response. Simultaneously, combining with PD-1 antibody could further enhance cytotoxic T lymphocyte infiltration. Conclusions: Compared with CBG NRs, CEG NRs showed strong photothermal and photodynamic effects to destroy tumors and activate a part of the immune response. Combining with PD-1 antibody could reverse the immunosuppressive microenvironment and thoroughly activate the immune response. This platform demonstrates the superiority of combination therapy of photoimmunotherapy and PD-1 blockade in TNBC therapy. Full article
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22 pages, 4918 KiB  
Article
Targeting Glioblastoma-Associated Macrophages for Photodynamic Therapy Using AGuIX®-Design Nanoparticles
by Lucie Lerouge, Mickaël Gries, Alicia Chateau, Joël Daouk, François Lux, Paul Rocchi, Jessica Cedervall, Anna-Karin Olsson, Olivier Tillement, Céline Frochot, Samir Acherar, Noémie Thomas and Muriel Barberi-Heyob
Pharmaceutics 2023, 15(3), 997; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics15030997 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2100
Abstract
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most difficult brain cancer to treat, and photodynamic therapy (PDT) is emerging as a complementary approach to improve tumor eradication. Neuropilin-1 (NRP-1) protein expression plays a critical role in GBM progression and immune response. Moreover, various clinical databases highlight [...] Read more.
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most difficult brain cancer to treat, and photodynamic therapy (PDT) is emerging as a complementary approach to improve tumor eradication. Neuropilin-1 (NRP-1) protein expression plays a critical role in GBM progression and immune response. Moreover, various clinical databases highlight a relationship between NRP-1 and M2 macrophage infiltration. In order to induce a photodynamic effect, multifunctional AGuIX®-design nanoparticles were used in combination with a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent, as well as a porphyrin as the photosensitizer molecule and KDKPPR peptide ligand for targeting the NRP-1 receptor. The main objective of this study was to characterize the impact of macrophage NRP-1 protein expression on the uptake of functionalized AGuIX®-design nanoparticles in vitro and to describe the influence of GBM cell secretome post-PDT on the polarization of macrophages into M1 or M2 phenotypes. By using THP-1 human monocytes, successful polarization into the macrophage phenotypes was argued via specific morphological traits, discriminant nucleocytoplasmic ratio values, and different adhesion abilities based on real-time cell impedance measurements. In addition, macrophage polarization was confirmed via the transcript-level expression of TNFα, CXCL10, CD-80, CD-163, CD-206, and CCL22 markers. In relation to NRP-1 protein over-expression, we demonstrated a three-fold increase in functionalized nanoparticle uptake for the M2 macrophages compared to the M1 phenotype. The secretome of the post-PDT GBM cells led to nearly a three-fold increase in the over-expression of TNFα transcripts, confirming the polarization to the M1 phenotype. The in vivo relationship between post-PDT efficiency and the inflammatory effects points to the extensive involvement of macrophages in the tumor zone. Full article
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16 pages, 4911 KiB  
Article
Quantitative Analysis of Photothermal Therapy of Tumor Tissue Using Various Gold Nanoparticle Injection Schemes
by Donghyuk Kim and Hyunjung Kim
Pharmaceutics 2023, 15(3), 911; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics15030911 - 10 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1712
Abstract
Photothermal therapy is a new chemotherapy technique using photothermal effects, a phenomenon in which light energy is converted into thermal energy. Since the treatment technique is performed without surgical incision, it does not cause bleeding and patients are expected to make rapid recoveries, [...] Read more.
Photothermal therapy is a new chemotherapy technique using photothermal effects, a phenomenon in which light energy is converted into thermal energy. Since the treatment technique is performed without surgical incision, it does not cause bleeding and patients are expected to make rapid recoveries, which are significant advantages. In this study, photothermal therapy with direct injection of gold nanoparticles into tumor tissue was simulated through numerical modeling. The treatment effect resulting from changing the intensity of the irradiated laser, volume fraction of the injected gold nanoparticles, and number of gold nanoparticle injections was quantitatively evaluated. The discrete dipole approximation method was applied to calculate the optical properties of the entire medium, and the Monte Carlo method was applied to identify the absorption and scattering behavior of lasers in tissue. In addition, by confirming the temperature distribution of the entire medium through the calculated light absorption distribution, the treatment effect of photothermal therapy was evaluated, and the optimal treatment conditions were suggested. This is expected to accelerate the popularization of photothermal therapy in the future. Full article
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22 pages, 7254 KiB  
Article
Multifunctional Mesoporous Silica-Coated Gold Nanorods Mediate Mild Photothermal Heating-Enhanced Gene/Immunotherapy for Colorectal Cancer
by Meirong Li, Jingyu Yang, Xinhuang Yao, Xiang Li, Zhourui Xu, Shiqi Tang, Bangxu Sun, Suxia Lin, Chengbin Yang and Jia Liu
Pharmaceutics 2023, 15(3), 854; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics15030854 - 06 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1614
Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer worldwide and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the world. It is urgent to search for safe and effective therapies to address the CRC crisis. The siRNA-based RNA interference targeted silencing of [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer worldwide and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the world. It is urgent to search for safe and effective therapies to address the CRC crisis. The siRNA-based RNA interference targeted silencing of PD-L1 has extensive potential in CRC treatment but is limited by the lack of efficient delivery vectors. In this work, the novel cytosine-phosphate-guanine oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG ODNs)/siPD-L1 co-delivery vectors AuNRs@MS/CpG ODN@PEG-bPEI (ASCP) were successfully prepared by two-step surface modification of CpG ODNs-loading and polyethylene glycol-branched polyethyleneimine-coating around mesoporous silica-coated gold nanorods. ASCP promoted dendritic cells (DCs) maturation by delivering CpG ODNs, exhibiting excellent biosafety. Next, mild photothermal therapy (MPTT) mediated by ASCP killed tumor cells and released tumor-associated antigens, further promoting DC maturation. Furthermore, ASCP exhibited mild photothermal heating-enhanced performance as gene vectors, resulting in an increased PD-L1 gene silencing effect. Enhanced DCs maturity and enhanced PD-L1 gene silencing significantly promoted the anti-tumor immune response. Finally, the combination of MPTT and mild photothermal heating-enhanced gene/immunotherapy effectively killed MC38 cells, leading to strong inhibition of CRC. Overall, this work provided new insights into the design of mild photothermal/gene/immune synergies for tumor therapy and may contribute to translational nanomedicine for CRC treatment. Full article
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16 pages, 5856 KiB  
Article
Liposomal Iron Oxide Nanoparticles Loaded with Doxorubicin for Combined Chemo-Photothermal Cancer Therapy
by Taehoon Park, Reeju Amatya, Kyoung Ah Min and Meong Cheol Shin
Pharmaceutics 2023, 15(1), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics15010292 - 15 Jan 2023
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2323
Abstract
Iron oxide nanoparticle (IONP) possesses unique advantages over other nanoparticles in the use of cancer imaging and therapy. Specifically, it has drawn great attention in the emerging research field of photothermal cancer therapy. Herein, we developed doxorubicin (DOX)-loaded liposomal IONP (Lipo-IONP/DOX) and evaluated [...] Read more.
Iron oxide nanoparticle (IONP) possesses unique advantages over other nanoparticles in the use of cancer imaging and therapy. Specifically, it has drawn great attention in the emerging research field of photothermal cancer therapy. Herein, we developed doxorubicin (DOX)-loaded liposomal IONP (Lipo-IONP/DOX) and evaluated in vitro and in vivo their applicability for combined chemo-photothermal cancer therapy. The Lipo-IONP was synthesized by the thin-film evaporation method. The prepared Lipo-IONP was observed as about a 240 nm-sized agglomerate of globular-shaped nanoparticles. The TEM and FT-IR data evidenced the successful formation of liposomal IONP. The superparamagnetic property of the Lipo-IONP was confirmed by the SQUID analysis. The DSC data showed a transition temperature of about 47–48 °C for the mixed lipids composing the Lipo IONP, and the DOX release studies revealed the feasibility of induced burst release of DOX by laser irradiation. The Lipo-IONP/DOX possessed a plasma half-life of 42 min, which could ensure sufficient circulation time for magnetic tumor targeting. The in vivo magnetic targeting enabled a significant increase (6.3-fold) in the tumor accumulation of Lipo-IONP/DOX, leading to greater photothermal effects. Finally, the preliminary efficacy study evidenced the applicability as well as the safety of the Lipo-IONP/DOX for use in combined chemo-photothermal cancer therapy. Overall, the study results demonstrated that the Lipo-IONP/DOX might serve as an effective and safe agent for combined chemo-photothermal cancer therapy. Full article
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Review

Jump to: Research

25 pages, 5714 KiB  
Review
Versatile Peptide-Based Nanosystems for Photodynamic Therapy
by Qiuyan Li, Ruiqi Ming, Lili Huang and Ruoyu Zhang
Pharmaceutics 2024, 16(2), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics16020218 - 02 Feb 2024
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 872
Abstract
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has become an important therapeutic strategy because it is highly controllable, effective, and does not cause drug resistance. Moreover, precise delivery of photosensitizers to tumor lesions can greatly reduce the amount of drug administered and optimize therapeutic outcomes. As alternatives [...] Read more.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has become an important therapeutic strategy because it is highly controllable, effective, and does not cause drug resistance. Moreover, precise delivery of photosensitizers to tumor lesions can greatly reduce the amount of drug administered and optimize therapeutic outcomes. As alternatives to protein antibodies, peptides have been applied as useful targeting ligands for targeted biomedical imaging, drug delivery and PDT. In addition, other functionalities of peptides such as stimuli responsiveness, self-assembly, and therapeutic activity can be integrated with photosensitizers to yield versatile peptide-based nanosystems for PDT. In this article, we start with a brief introduction to PDT and peptide-based nanosystems, followed by more detailed descriptions about the structure, property, and architecture of peptides as background information. Finally, the most recent advances in peptide-based nanosystems for PDT are emphasized and summarized according to the functionalities of peptide in the system to reveal the design and development principle in different therapeutic circumstances. We hope this review could provide useful insights and valuable reference for the development of peptide-based nanosystems for PDT. Full article
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33 pages, 8301 KiB  
Review
Photothermal Effect of Gold Nanoparticles as a Nanomedicine for Diagnosis and Therapeutics
by Panangattukara Prabhakaran Praveen Kumar and Dong-Kwon Lim
Pharmaceutics 2023, 15(9), 2349; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics15092349 - 19 Sep 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2157
Abstract
Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have received great attention for various medical applications due to their unique physicochemical properties. AuNPs with tunable optical properties in the visible and near-infrared regions have been utilized in a variety of applications such as in vitro diagnostics, in vivo [...] Read more.
Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have received great attention for various medical applications due to their unique physicochemical properties. AuNPs with tunable optical properties in the visible and near-infrared regions have been utilized in a variety of applications such as in vitro diagnostics, in vivo imaging, and therapeutics. Among the applications, this review will pay more attention to recent developments in diagnostic and therapeutic applications based on the photothermal (PT) effect of AuNPs. In particular, the PT effect of AuNPs has played an important role in medical applications utilizing light, such as photoacoustic imaging, photon polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and hyperthermia therapy. First, we discuss the fundamentals of the optical properties in detail to understand the background of the PT effect of AuNPs. For diagnostic applications, the ability of AuNPs to efficiently convert absorbed light energy into heat to generate enhanced acoustic waves can lead to significant enhancements in photoacoustic signal intensity. Integration of the PT effect of AuNPs with PCR may open new opportunities for technological innovation called photonic PCR, where light is used to enable fast and accurate temperature cycling for DNA amplification. Additionally, beyond the existing thermotherapy of AuNPs, the PT effect of AuNPs can be further applied to cancer immunotherapy. Controlled PT damage to cancer cells triggers an immune response, which is useful for obtaining better outcomes in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors or vaccines. Therefore, this review examines applications to nanomedicine based on the PT effect among the unique optical properties of AuNPs, understands the basic principles, the advantages and disadvantages of each technology, and understands the importance of a multidisciplinary approach. Based on this, it is expected that it will help understand the current status and development direction of new nanoparticle-based disease diagnosis methods and treatment methods, and we hope that it will inspire the development of new innovative technologies. Full article
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22 pages, 2235 KiB  
Review
Current Strategies in Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) and Photodynamic Diagnostics (PDD) and the Future Potential of Nanotechnology in Cancer Treatment
by Marta Olszowy, Martyna Nowak-Perlak and Marta Woźniak
Pharmaceutics 2023, 15(6), 1712; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics15061712 - 12 Jun 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2261
Abstract
Photodynamic diagnostics (PDD) and photodynamic therapy (PDT) are well-established medical technologies used for the diagnosis and treatment of malignant neoplasms. They rely on the use of photosensitizers, light and oxygen to visualize or eliminate cancer cells. This review demonstrates the recent advancements in [...] Read more.
Photodynamic diagnostics (PDD) and photodynamic therapy (PDT) are well-established medical technologies used for the diagnosis and treatment of malignant neoplasms. They rely on the use of photosensitizers, light and oxygen to visualize or eliminate cancer cells. This review demonstrates the recent advancements in these modalities with the use of nanotechnology, including quantum dots as innovative photosensitizers or energy donors, liposomes and micelles. Additionally, this literature review explores the combination of PDT with radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and surgery for treating various neoplasms. The article also focuses on the latest achievements in PDD and PDT enhancements, which seem to be very promising in the field of oncology. Full article
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22 pages, 2442 KiB  
Review
Dendrimers: Advancements and Potential Applications in Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment—An Overview
by Andreea Crintea, Alexandru Cătălin Motofelea, Alina Simona Șovrea, Anne-Marie Constantin, Carmen-Bianca Crivii, Rahela Carpa and Alina Gabriela Duțu
Pharmaceutics 2023, 15(5), 1406; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics15051406 - 04 May 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2487
Abstract
Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, and the main treatment methods for this condition are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. These treatment methods are invasive and can cause severe adverse reactions among organisms, so nanomaterials are increasingly used as structures for anticancer [...] Read more.
Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, and the main treatment methods for this condition are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. These treatment methods are invasive and can cause severe adverse reactions among organisms, so nanomaterials are increasingly used as structures for anticancer therapies. Dendrimers are a type of nanomaterial with unique properties, and their production can be controlled to obtain compounds with the desired characteristics. These polymeric molecules are used in cancer diagnosis and treatment through the targeted distribution of some pharmacological substances. Dendrimers have the ability to fulfill several objectives in anticancer therapy simultaneously, such as targeting tumor cells so that healthy tissue is not affected, controlling the release of anticancer agents in the tumor microenvironment, and combining anticancer strategies based on the administration of anticancer molecules to potentiate their effect through photothermal therapy or photodynamic therapy. The purpose of this review is to summarize and highlight the possible uses of dendrimers regarding the diagnosis and treatment of oncological conditions. Full article
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