Photo-decomposable organic nanoparticles for combined tumor optical imaging and multiple phototherapies

Wenjun Miao, Hyungjun Kim, Vipul Gujrati, Jin Yong Kim, Hyeongsu Jon, Yonghyun Lee, Minsuk Choi, Jinjoo Kim, Soyoung Lee, Dong Yun Lee, Sukmo Kang, Sangyong Jon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Combination of photodynamic therapy (PDT) with photothermal therapy (PTT) has achieved significantly improved therapeutic efficacy compared to a single phototherapy modality. However, most nanomaterials used for combined PDT/PTT are made of non-biodegradable materials (e.g., gold nanorods, carbon nanotubes, and graphenes) and may remain intact in the body for long time, raising concerns over their potential long-term toxicity. Here we report a new combined PDT/PTT nanomedicine, designated SP3NPs, that exhibit photo-decomposable, photodynamic and photothermal properties. SP3NPs were prepared by self-assembly of PEGylated cypate, comprising FDA-approved PEG and an ICG derivative. We confirmed the ability of SP3NPs to generate both singlet oxygen for a photodynamic effect and heat for photothermal therapy in response to NIR laser irradiation in vitro. Also, the unique ability of SP3NPs to undergo irreversible decomposition upon NIR laser irradiation was demonstrated. Further our experimental results demonstrated that SP3NPs strongly accumulated in tumor tissue owing to their highly PEGylated surface and relatively small size (~60 nm), offering subsequent imaging-guided combined PDT/PTT treatment that resulted in tumor eradication and prolonged survival of mice. Taken together, our SP3NPs described here may represent a novel and facile approach for next-generation theranostics with great promise for translation into clinical practice in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2367-2379
Number of pages13
Issue number13
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Global Research Laboratory (grant no. 2014044002) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning and the Korea Health Technology R&D Project (grant no. HI13C21810301) through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (HHIDI) funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© Ivyspring International Publisher.


  • Indocyanine green
  • Nanomedicine
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Photothermal therapy
  • Theranostics


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