It is extremely demanded to enhance the accumulation of near-infrared theranostic agents in the tumor region, which is favorable to the effective phototherapy. Compared with indocyanine green (a clinically applied dye), IR-780 iodide possesses higher and more stable fluorescence intensity and can be utilized as an imaging-guided PTT agent with laser irradiation. However, lipophilicity and short circulation time limit its applications in cancer imaging and therapy. Moreover, solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) conjugated with c(RGDyK) were designed as efficient carriers to improve the targeted delivery of IR-780 to the tumors. The multifunctional cRGD-IR-780 SLNs exhibited a desirable monodispersity, preferable stability, and significant targeting to cell lines over-expressing αvβ3 integrin. Additionally, the in vitro assays such as cell viability and in vivo PTT treatment denoted that U87MG cells or U87MG transplantation tumors could be eradicated by applying cRGD-IR-780 SLNs under the laser irradiation. Therefore, the resulted cRGD-IR-780 SLNs may serve as a promising NIR imaging-guided targeting PTT agent for cancer therapy. In this methodological chapter, we present the general flowchart applied for this project: (1) the synthesis of cRGD-IR-780 SLNs, (2) the physico-chemical characterization of the nanoparticles, (3) the cellular uptake and in vitro photothermal toxicity of the nanoparticles, and (4) the in vivo evaluation of the nanoparticles for NIR Imaging-guided PTT.
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This work was financially supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (21575154, 21507156), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20161262), the Science and Technology Foundation of Suzhou (SYG201526), and the CAS/SAFEA International Innovation Teams program.
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