Near-infrared light-responsive nanomaterials for cancer theranostics

Heejung Kim, Kyungwha Chung, Seungjin Lee, Dong Ha Kim, Hyukjin Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


Early diagnosis and effective cancer therapy are required, to properly treat cancer, which causes more than 8.2 million deaths in a year worldwide. Among various cancer treatments, nanoparticle-based cancer therapies and molecular imaging techniques have been widely exploited over the past decades to overcome current drawbacks of existing cancer treatments. In particular, gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), carbon nanotubes (CNTs), graphene oxide (GO), and upconversion nanocrystals (UNCs) have attracted tremendous attention from researchers due to their near-infrared (NIR) light-responsive behaviors. These nanomaterials are considered new multifunctional platforms for cancer theranostics. They would enable on-demand control of drug release or molecular imaging in response to a remote trigger by NIR light exposure. This approach allows the patient or physician to adjust therapy precisely to a target site, thus greatly improving the efficacy of cancer treatments, while reducing undesirable side effects. In this review, we have summarized the advantages of NIR light-responsive nanomaterials for in vivo cancer treatments, which includes NIR triggered photothermal therapy (PTT) and photodynamic therapy (PDT). Furthermore, recent developments, perspectives, and new challenges of NIR light-responsive nanomaterials are discussed for cancer theranostic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-45
Number of pages23
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


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