The near-infrared fluorescent (NIRF) dye, IR780, is recognized as a promising theranostic agent and has been widely investigated for imaging, chemotherapeutic, and phototherapeutic applications. However, its poor photostability and nonselective toxicities toward both cancer and normal cells limit its biological applications. Herein, we introduce the use of GUMBOS (a group of uniform materials based on organic salts) developed through counter-anion exchange with IR780 and subsequent nanomaterials (nanoGUMBOS) formed by complexation with cyclodextrin (CD) for enhanced chemo/photothermal therapy. Such CD-based nanoGUMBOS display improved aqueous stability, photostability, and photothermal effects relative to traditional IR780. The examination of in vitro cytotoxicity reveals that CD-based nanoGUMBOS are selectively toxic toward cancer cells and exhibit synergistically enhanced cytotoxicity toward cancer cells upon NIR laser irradiation. Additionally, in vivo NIRF imaging demonstrated selective accumulation of these nanoGUMBOS within the tumor site, indicating tumor-targeting properties. Further in vivo therapeutic study of these CD-based nanoGUMBOS suggests excellent chemo/photothermal antitumor effects. Using these studies, we herein demonstrate a promising strategy, via conversion of IR780 into nanoGUMBOS, that can be used for improved theranostic cancer treatment.
- chemo/photothermal applications