We designed a cancer-cell specific photosensitizer nano-carrier by synthesizing pheophorbide a (PheoA) conjugated glycol chitosan (GC) with reducible disulfide bonds (PheoA-ss-GC). The amphiphilic PheoA-ss-GC conjugates self-assembled in aqueous condition to form core-shell structured nanoparticles (PheoA-ss-CNPs) with good colloidal stability and switchable photoactivity. The photoactivity of PheoA-ss-CNPs in an aqueous environment was greatly suppressed by the self-quenching effect, which enabled the PheoA-ss-CNPs to remain photo-inactive and in a quenched state. However, after the cancer cell-specific uptake, the nanoparticular structure instantaneously dissociated by reductive cleavage of the disulfide linkers, followed by an efficient dequenching process. Compared to non-reducible PheoA-conjugated GC-NPs with stable amide linkages (PheoA-CNPs), PheoA-ss-CNPs rapidly restored their photoactivity in response to intracellular reductive conditions, thus presenting higher cytotoxicity with light treatment. In addition, the PheoA-ss-CNPs presented prolonged blood circulation invivo compared to free PheoA, demonstrating enhanced tumor specific targeting behavior through the enhanced permeation and retention (EPR) effect. The enhanced tumor accumulation of PheoA-ss-CNPs enabled tumor therapeutic efficacy that was more efficient than free PheoA in tumor-bearing mice. Based on the enhanced intracellular release for cytosolic high dose and switchable photoactivity mechanism for reduced side effects, these results suggest that PheoA-ss-CNPs have good potential for photodynamic therapy (PDT) in cancer treatment.
|Number of pages||10|
|State||Published - Sep 2013|
- Cancer-cell specific photoactivity
- Glycol chitosan nanoparticles
- Pheophorbide a
- Photodynamic therapy
- Switchable photoactivity