The major challenge in current chemotherapy is to increase local effective therapeutic concentration of drugs as well as to minimize toxicity and side effects for patients. The targeted delivery of drugs to their desired site of action in a controlled manner plays an essential role in the development of drug formulations. A photocage refers to a caged molecule rendered biologically inert by a photolabile protecting group. Molecules are illuminated with light to liberate the caged group and then become active forms. In this study, we formulate upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) as the NIR-triggered targeting and drug delivery vehicles that successfully deliver in vitro and in vivo for near-infrared light photocontrolled targeting, bioimaging, and chemotherapy. It is noted that there has been no report on the systemic administration UCNP-based drug delivery agents for evaluation of bioimaging and chemotherapy. To achieve phototargeting, the tumor-homing agent (i.e., folic acid) has been constructed as a photoresponsive molecule. For the chemotherapeutic effect, the antitumor drug doxorubicin is thiolated on the surface of UCNPs, forming a disulfide bond that can be cleaved by lysosomal enzymes within the cells. The caged UNCPs can serve as a platform for the improvement of selective targeting and possible reduction of adverse side effects from chemotherapy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)