Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 53, Issue 13, pp 9368–9381 | Cite as

Polypeptide-based artificial erythrocytes conjugated with near infrared photosensitizers for imaging-guided photodynamic therapy

  • Le Liu
  • Tuanwei Li
  • Zheng Ruan
  • Lifeng Yan


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) combining with near infrared (NIR) imaging is attractive. However, the intrinsic hypoxia in tumor and consumption of oxygen during treatment will decrease PDT. Here an artificial red cell was prepared using polypeptides conjugated hemoglobin as an oxygen carrier. A NIR photosensitizer-brominated 4,4-difluoro-4-bora-3a,a-diaza-s-indacene (BODIPY-Br2) possessing both high fluorescence emission and singlet oxygen generation efficiency was synthesized and also conjugated to polypeptides to achieve NIR imaging-guided PDT. In vitro studies performed on HepG2 cancer cells verified the oxygen carrier, cancer tracing and curing abilities of the as-prepared polymeric nanoparticles. Even under hypoxia condition, it also obviously increases the cell killing rate when exposed light at a low energy (25 mW/cm2, 10 min). Meanwhile, the fluorescence of BODIPY in NPs would light up cells for real-time imaging. These results show the potential of the biocompatible and biodegradable P-Hb-B NPs for enhancement of simultaneous tracing and treating of cancer.



This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51673180 and 51373162).

Supplementary material

10853_2018_2276_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.2 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1199 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale, CAS Key Laboratory of Soft Matter Chemistry, Department of Chemical Physics, iCHEMUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiPeople’s Republic of China

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