Encapsulated conjugated oligomer nanoparticles for real-time photoacoustic sentinel lymph node imaging and targeted photothermal therapy

Noninvasive and nonionizing imaging of sentinel lymph nodes (SLN) is highly desirable for the detection of breast cancer metastasis through sentinel lymph node biopsy. Photoacoustic (PA) imaging is an emerging imaging technique that can serve as a suitable approach for SLN imaging. Herein, novel conjugated oligomer based nanoparticles (NPs) with strong NIR absorption, good biocompatibility, excellent PA contrast, and good photothermal conversion efficiency are reported. Real-time PA imaging of SLN reveals high resolution of the NPs via injection from the left forepaw pad. In addition, the surface functionalized NPs can target breast cancer cells and kill them efficiently and specifically through photothermal therapy upon 808 nm laser irradiation. This work shows great potential of the nanoparticle PA contrast agent to serve as a multifunctional probe for photothermal therapy at SLNs to achieve the inhibition of cancer cell metastasis in the near future.

Cai, X., Liu, X., Liao, L-D., Bandla, A., Ling, J.M., Liu, Y-H., Thakor, N., Bazan, G.C. and Liu, B.
Volume: 23
Number: 35
Pages: 4873–4880
Date: September, 2016
ICB Affiliated Authors: Guillermo C Bazan