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Image-guided synergistic photothermal therapy using photoresponsive imaging agent-loaded graphene-based nanosheets
Wenjun Miao, Gayong Shim (*co-first), Gunwoo Kim, Soondong Lee, Hee-Jung Lee, Young Bong Kim, Youngro Byun, Yu-Kyoung Oh.
Journal of Controlled Release (SCIE)
We report the image-guided synergistic photothermal antitumor effects of photoresponsive near-infrared (NIR) imaging agent, indocyanine green (ICG), by loading onto hyaluronic acid-anchored, reduced graphene oxide (HArGO) nanosheets. Loading of ICG onto either rGO (ICG/rGO) or HArGO (ICG/HArGO) substantially improved the photostability of photoresponsive ICG upon NIR irradiation. After 1 min of irradiation, the NIR absorption peak of ICG almost disappeared whereas the peak of ICG on rGO or HArGO was retained even after 5 min of irradiation. Compared with plain rGO, HArGO provided greater cellular delivery of ICG and photothermal tumor cell-killing effects upon laser irradiation in CD44-positive KB cells. The temperature of cell suspensions treated with ICG/HArGO was 2.4-fold higher than that of cells treated with free ICG. Molecular imaging revealed that intravenously administered ICG/HArGO accumulated in KB tumor tissues higher than ICG/rGO or free ICG. Local temperatures in tumor tissues of laser-irradiated KB cell-bearing nude mice were highest in those intravenously administered ICG/HArGO, and were sufficient to trigger thermal-induced complete tumor ablation. Immunohistologically stained tumors also showed the highest percentages of apoptotic cells in the group treated with ICG/HArGO. These results suggest that photoresponsive ICG-loaded HArGO nanosheets could serve as a potential theranostic nano-platform for image-guided and synergistic photothermal antitumor therapy.