Photothermal and photodynamic activity of polymeric nanoparticles based on α-tocopheryl succinate-RAFT block copolymers conjugated to IR-780.

Publication date: Available online 13 May 2017
Source:Acta Biomaterialia
Author(s): Raquel Palao-Suay, Francisco M. Martin-Saavedra, María Rosa Aguilar, Clara Escudero Duch, Sergio Martín-Saldaña, Francisco J. Parra-Ruiz, Nathan A. Rohner, Susan N. Thomas, Nuria Vilaboa, Julio San Román
The aim of this work was the generation of a multifunctional nanopolymeric system that incorporates IR-780 dye, a near-infrared (NIR) imaging probe that exhibits photothermal and photodynamic properties; and a derivate of α-tocopheryl succinate (α-TOS), a mitochondria-targeted anticancer compound. IR-780 was conjugated to the hydrophilic segment of copolymer PEG-b-polyMTOS, based on poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and a methacrylic derivative of α-tocopheryl succinate (MTOS), to generate IR-NP, self-assembled nanoparticles (NPs) in aqueous media which exhibit a hydrophilic shell and a hydrophobic core. During assembly, the hydrophobic core of IR-NP could encapsulate additional IR-780 to generate derived subspecies carrying different amount of probe (IR-NP-eIR). Evaluation of photo-inducible properties of IR-NP and IR-NP-eIR were thoroughly assessed in vitro. Developed nanotheranostic particles showed distinct fluorescence and photothermal behavior after excitation by a laser light emitting at 808 nm. Treatment of MDA-MB-453 cells with IR-NP or IR-NP-eIR resulted in an efficient internalization of the IR-780 dye, while subsequent NIR-laser irradiation led to a severe decrease in cell viability. Photocytoxicity conducted by IR-NP, which could not be attributed to the generation of lethal hyperthermia, responded to an increase in the levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). Therefore, the fluorescence imaging and inducible phototoxicity capabilities of NPs derived from IR-780-PEG-b-polyMTOS copolymer confer high value to these nanotheranostics tools in clinical cancer research.State of significanceMultifunctional polymeric nanoparticles (NPs) that combine imaging and therapeutic properties are highly valuable in cancer treatment. In this paper we describe the development of NPs that are fluorescent in the near-infrared (NIR). This is important for their visualization in living tissues that present low absorption and low autofluorescence in this wavelength region (between 700 and 1000 nm). Moreover, NPs present photothermal and photodynamic properties when NIR irradiated: the NPs produce an efficient increment of temperature and increase the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) when laser irradiated at 808 nm. These tuneable photoinduced properties make the NPs highly cytotoxic after NIR irradiation and provides a new tool for highly precise cancer treatment.

Graphical abstract


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