Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 54, Issue 7, pp 5743–5756 | Cite as

TiN nanoparticles: synthesis and application as near-infrared photothermal agents for cancer therapy

  • Wenqi Jiang
  • Qingge Fu
  • Hengyong Wei
  • Aihua Yao
Materials for life sciences


We have developed TiN nanoparticles (NPs) as a novel near-infrared-activated photothermal agent. The effect of nitridation temperature on the optical property and photothermal performance of the TiN NPs were investigated. The nanoparticles nitrided at 1000 °C presented a significant absorption along the whole biological spectral range (i.e., for wavelengths above 700 nm). After coated with polystyrene sulfonate (PSS) and poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride) (PDDA), they exhibited well-defined spherical morphology with average size of ~ 50 nm. We also demonstrated their therapeutic efficacy against SW1990 pancreatic cancer cells. The results indicated that the PSS/PDDA-coated TiN NPs offered several advantages including high photothermal conversion efficiency (44.6%), high photothermal stability, broad spectral tunability, low cytotoxicity and facile synthesis process. These features make TiN NPs promising alternative for use as a photothermal agent in cancer photothermal treatment.



This work was financially supported by Research Funds for the Central Universities, National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 50702037), Natural Science Foundation of Shanghai Municipality (No. 16ZR1400700) and Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission Project (No. 2012y193).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Advanced Civil Engineering Materials, Ministry of EducationTongji UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.School of Materials Science and EngineeringTongji UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Department of Emergency, Changhai HospitalSecond Military Medical UniversityShanghaiChina
  4. 4.Hebei Provincial Key Laboratory of Inorganic Nonmetallic Materials, College of Materials Science and EngineeringNorth China University of Science and TechnologyTangshanChina

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