Pharmaceutical Research

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 554–565 | Cite as

Near-Infrared Light-Sensitive Liposomes for the Enhanced Photothermal Tumor Treatment by the Combination with Chemotherapy

  • Jian YouEmail author
  • Peizun Zhang
  • Fuqiang Hu
  • Yongzhong Du
  • Hong Yuan
  • Jiang ZhuEmail author
  • Zuhua Wang
  • Jialin Zhou
  • Chun Li
Research Paper



To develop a near-infrared (NIR) light-sensitive liposome, which contains hollow gold nanospheres (HAuNS) and doxorubicin (DOX), and evaluate their potential utility for enhancing antitumor activity and controlling drug release.


The liposomes (DOX&HAuNS-TSL) were designed based on a thermal sensitive liposome (TSL) formulation, and hydrophobically modified HAuNS were attached onto the membrane of the liposomes. The behavior of DOX release from the liposomes was investigated by the dialysis, diffusion in agarose gel and cellular uptake of the drug. The biodistribution of DOX&HAuNS-TSL was assessed by i.v. injection in tumor-bearing nude mice. Antitumor efficacy was evaluated both histologically using excised tissue and intuitively by measuring the tumor size and weight.


Rapid and repetitive DOX release from the liposomes (DOX&HAuNS-TSL), could be readily achieved upon NIR laser irradiation. The treatment of tumor cells with DOX&HAuNS-TSL followed by NIR laser irradiation showed significantly greater cytotoxicity than the treatment with DOX&HAuNS-TSL alone, DOX-TSL alone (chemotherapy alone) and HAuNS-TSL plus NIR laser irradiation (Photothermal ablation, PTA, alone). In vivo antitumor study indicated that the combination of simultaneous photothermal and chemotherapeutic effect mediated by DOX&HAuNS-TSL plus NIR laser presented a significantly higher antitumor efficacy than the PTA alone mediated by HAuNS-TSL plus NIR laser irradiation.


Our study could be as the valuable reference and direction for the clinical application of PTA in tumor therapy.


controlled release light sensitive liposomes photothermal effect 


Acknowledgments and disclosures

This work was supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (81001411), Qianjiang Talent Plan Program of Zhejiang Province (2013R10043), the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) under Contract 2009CB930300, National Nature Science Foundation of China (81072583), and part by the National Cancer Institute (U54CA151668).

Supplementary material

11095_2013_1180_MOESM1_ESM.doc (363 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 363 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jian You
    • 1
    Email author
  • Peizun Zhang
    • 1
  • Fuqiang Hu
    • 1
  • Yongzhong Du
    • 1
  • Hong Yuan
    • 1
  • Jiang Zhu
    • 2
    Email author
  • Zuhua Wang
    • 1
  • Jialin Zhou
    • 1
  • Chun Li
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Pharmaceutical SciencesZhejiang UniversityHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Sir Run Run Shaw HospitalZhejiang University School of MedicineHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Experimental Diagnostic ImagingThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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