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SCIENCE CHINA Materials, Volume 62 , Issue 11 : 1740-1758(2019) https://doi.org/10.1007/s40843-019-9470-3

Organic/polymer photothermal nanoagents for photoacoustic imaging and photothermal therapy in vivo

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  • ReceivedMay 15, 2019
  • AcceptedJul 1, 2019
  • PublishedAug 6, 2019

Abstract

In recent years, organic/polymer photothermal nanoagents including semiconducting polymer nanoparticles and small-molecule organic photothermal agents-encapsulated nanoparticles have attracted large attention from researchers in the biomedical field, owing to their excellent optical properties, good biocompatibility, easy processability, and flexible surface functionalization, as well as their combined functions of photoacoustic (PA) imaging and photothermal therapy (PTT). In this review, we summarize the recent advances in organic/polymer photothermal nanoagents for in vivo PA imaging and PTT applications. In particular, we focus on the design strategies, which are composed of traditional approaches and emerging mechanisms, especially based on “intramolecular motion-induced photothermy” strategy to regulate the photophysical properties of organic/polymer photothermal nanoagents for boosted in vivo PA imaging and PTT.


Funded by

the National Natural Science Foundation of China(51622305,51873092)

the National Basic Research Program of China(2015CB856503)

and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities

Nankai University(63191521,63171218,63191176)


Acknowledgment

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51622305, 51873092, 31771031, and 81701829), the National Basic Research Program of China (2015CB856503), the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFA0209800), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, Nankai University (63191521, 63171218 and 63191176).


Interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


Contributions statement

All the authors contributed to the discussion and writing of the manuscript.


Author information

Hanlin Ou received his PhD degree from the College of Chemistry in Nankai University in 2018. Afterwards he joined the College of Life Sciences in Nankai University to conduct his postdoctoral research under the supervision of Prof. Dan Ding. His current research focuses on the biomedical applications of functional molecular imaging probes.


Dan Ding received his PhD degree from the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering in Nanjing University in 2010. After a postdoctoral training in National University of Singapore, he joined Nankai University, where he is currently a professor in the State Key Laboratory of Medicinal Chemical Biology, Key Laboratory of Bioactive Materials, Ministry of Education, and College of Life Sciences. He also conducted his work in The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology as a visiting scholar. His current research focuses on the design and synthesis of smart/functional molecular imaging probes and exploration of their biomedical applications.


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  • Figure 1

    (a) Chemical structures of SP1 and SP2 and schematic diagrams of their preparation into NPs. (b) Proposed ROS sensing mechanism of RSPN (ratiometric SPN). (c) Ratios of PA amplitude of RSPN at 700 nm to that at 820 nm (PA700/PA820) in the presence of different ROS (5 mmol L−1). Reproduced with permission from Ref. [51]. Copyright 2014, Springer Nature.

  • Figure 2

    (a) Molecular structures of SP3–5. (b) Schematic of the preparation of SPNs through nanoprecipitation. (c) Schematic diagram of the application of SPNs in the PA imaging and PTT of tumors in live mice. Reproduced with permission from Ref. [56]. Copyright 2017, American Chemical Society.

  • Figure 3

    (a) Molecular structures of F-DTS, pH-BDP and PEG-b-PPG-b-PEG. (b) Schematic of the preparation of SONs and the PET mechanism between F-DTS and pH-BDP. (c) Schematic illustration of the PA amplification induced by doping and the mechanism for pH detection. Reproduced with permission from Ref. [62]. Copyright 2016, WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  • Figure 4

    Schematic illustration and mechanism of the ROS-induced regrowth of PCBP NPs for enhanced PA imaging. Reproduced with permission from Ref. [66]. Copyright 2017, WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  • Figure 5

    Schematic illustration of the preparation of P1RGD NPs and the in vivo PA imaging and PTT of brain tumors. Reproduced with permission from Ref. [69]. Copyright 2018, WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  • Figure 6

    Schematic of the preparation procedure of homologous-targeting ICNPs (a) and their application in the dual-modal imaging guided PTT (b). Reproduced with permission from Ref. [83]. Copyright 2016, American Chemical Society.

  • Figure 7

    (a) Schematic of the application of ONPs in PA imaging and PA imaging-guided PTT. (b) The ratios of the maximal absorption intensity of ONPs/ICG/ICG NPs after and before laser irradiation (I/I0) various irradiation time. (c) Anti-photobleaching property of ONPs/ICG/ICG NPs during five heating−cooling cycles. (D) The ratios of the maximal absorption intensity of ONPs and ICG in the presence and absence of different kinds of RONS. Reproduced with permission from Ref. [18]. Copyright 2017, American Chemical Society.

  • Figure 8

    (a) Reversibility photo-controlled molecular structure of DTE-TPECM and its optimized geometric structure in the ring-closing/open form. (b, c) Jablonski diagrams illustrating the photophysical processes of RClosed-DTE-TPECM (b) and ROpen-DTE-TPECM (c) upon laser irradiation. Reproduced with permission from Ref. [87]. Copyright 2018, Springer Nature.

  • Figure 9

    Schematic illustration of the working mechanisms of AIE and iMIPT using TPE and 2TPE-NDTA as the example, respectively. Reproduced with permission from Ref. [92]. Copyright 2019, Springer Nature.

  • Figure 10

    (a) Molecular structures of NIR6, NIRb6, NIRb10 and NIRb14. (b, c) Schematic diagram of the TITC states of NIR6 and NIRb14 in solution (b) and aggregation state (c). (d) Schematic diagram of the different PA imaging-guided PTT effects employing NIR6 NPs and NIRb14 NPs as the photothermal agents, respectively. Reproduced with permission from Ref. [102], Copyright 2019, American Chemical Society.

  • Table 1   Summary of photophysical properties and applications of organic/polymer photothermal nanoagents

    Nanoparticles

    Chromophore

    Encapsulating matrix

    λmax

    (nm)a

    Peak extinctioncoefficient

    (cm−1 mg−1 mL)

    Photothermal conversion efficiency (%)

    Size

    (nm)b

    Application

    SPN1[51]

    SP1

    DPPC

    660

    93

    -

    41

    Lymph node imaging

    RSPN[51]

    SP1, IR775S

    DPPC

    700, 735, 820

    -

    -

    45

    ROS imaging

    SPN2[51]

    SP2

    DPPC

    700

    20

    -

    43

    Lymph node imaging

    SPN3[56]

    SP1

    DSPE-PEG2000

    690

    41.4

    -

    43

    -

    SPN4[56]

    SP2

    DSPE-PEG2000

    740

    44.0

    -

    -

    -

    SPN5[56]

    SP3

    DSPE-PEG2000

    783

    59.3

    -

    52

    Tumor imaging and PTT

    SON50[62]

    F-DTS, pH-BDP

    PEG-b-PPG-b-PEG

    680,750

    -

    -

    8.5

    pH imaging

    SPN6[65]

    SP6

    PEG-b-PPG-b-PEG

    660

    90

    27.5

    24

    -

    SPN6-SiO2[65]

    SP6

    PEG-b-PPG-b-PEG

    650

    90

    28.1

    21

    -

    SPN7[65]

    SP7

    PEG-b-PPG-b-PEG

    750

    87

    19.7

    24

    -

    SPN7-SiO2[65]

    SP7

    PEG-b-PPG-b-PEG

    740

    87

    18.9

    18

    Tumor imaging

    PCBP[66]

    PCBP

    -

    695

    -

    -

    20

    ROS imaging

    P1RGD NPs[69]

    P1

    DSPE-PEG2000-Mal

    1064

    22.6

    30.1

    64

    Glioblastoma imaging and PTT

    ICNPs[83]

    ICG

    PLGA, DSPE-PEG2000, cancer cell membrane

    780

    -

    -

    200.4

    Tumor imaging and PTT

    ONPs[18]

    TPA-T-TQ

    DSPE-PEG2000

    780

    -

    -

    68

    Tumor imaging and PTT

    RClosed-DTE-TPECM NPs[87]

    RClosed-DTE-TPECM

    DSPE-PEG2000

    650

    39.5

    65

    Preoperative PA imaging of tumors

    ROpen-DTE-TPECM NPs[87]

    ROpen-DTE-TPECM

    DSPE-PEG2000

    410

    -

    65

    Intraoperative fluorescent imaging/photodynamic therapy of residual tumors

    2TPE-NDTA NPs[92]

    2TPE-NDTA

    DSPE-PEG2000

    700

    27.7

    43.0

    152

    Tumor imaging

    2TPE-2NDTA NPs[92]

    2TPE-2NDTA

    DSPE-PEG2000

    700

    22.7

    54.9

    156

    Tumor imaging

    NIR6 NPs[102]

    NIR6

    PEG-b-PCL

    808

    -

    22.6

    -

    -

    NIRb6 NPs[102]

    NIRb6

    PEG-b-PCL

    813

    -

    26.2

    -

    -

    NIRb10 NPs[102]

    NIRb10

    PEG-b-PCL

    819

    -

    29.8

    -

    -

    NIRb14 NPs[102]

    NIRb14

    PEG-b-PCL

    822

    -

    31.2

    -

    -

    NIRb14-PAE/PEG NPs[102]

    NIRb14

    PEG-b-PCL, PAE-b-PCL

    -

    -

    -

    -

    Tumor imaging and PTT

    Peak absorption wavelength in NIR region; b) sizes of NPs are measured by dynamic light scattering (DLS).

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