Nanocomposites consisting of upconversion nanoparticles (UCPs) and plasmonic materials have been widely explored for bio-imaging and cancer photothermal therapy (PTT). However, several challenges, including incomprehensible efficiency of energy transfer processes and optimization of the conditions for plasmon-induced photothermal effects, still exist. In this study, we fabricated NaYF4:Yb3+/Er3+ nanoparticles (NPs) conjugated with gold nanomaterials (Au NMs), such as Au NPs and gold nanorods (Au NRs). NaYF4:Yb3+/Er3+ NPs were used as photoconverters, which could emit green and red light under excitation of a 980 nm laser; Au NPs and Au NRs were also prepared and used as heat producers. The silica shell was further coated around UCPs to improve biocompatibility and as a bridge linking UCPs and the Au NMs. Most importantly, the thickness of the silica shell was tuned precisely to investigate the effective distance of the plasmonic field for heat induction. Energy transfer was confirmed by the declining UCL photoluminescence and emission decay time after connecting to the Au NMs. Moreover, a simulative model was built using the finite element method to assess the differences in heat generation between UCP@SiO2-NPs and UCP@SiO2-NRs. The surfaces of the hybrid nanocomposites were modified with folic acid to improve the specific targeting to cancer cells. The performance of the modified hybrid nanocomposites in PTT for OECM-1 oral cancer cells was evaluated.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Materials Science(all)