ACS nano | 2019
Hypoxia-Irrelevant Photonic Thermodynamic Cancer Nanomedicine.
The hypoxic tumor microenvironment severely lowers the therapeutic efficacy of oxygen-dependent anticancer modalities because tumor hypoxia hinders the generation of toxic reactive oxygen species. Here we report a thermodynamic cancer-therapeutic modality that employs oxygen-irrelevant free radicals generated from thermo-labile initiators for inducing cancer cell death. A free radical nanogenerator was engineered via direct growth of mesoporous silica layer onto the surface of two-dimensional Nb2C MXene nanosheets toward multifunctionality, where the mesopore provided the reservoirs for initiators and the MXene core acted as the photonic-thermal trigger at the near-infrared-II biowindow (NIR-II). Upon illumination by a 1064 nm NIR-II laser, the photothermal-conversion effect of Nb2C MXene induced the fast release and quick decomposition of the encapsulated initiators (AIPH) to produce free radicals, which promoted cancer cell apoptosis in both normoxic and hypoxic microenvironment. Systematic in vitro and in vivo evaluations have demonstrated the synergistic-therapeutic outcome of this intriguing photonic nanoplatform-enabled thermodynamic cancer therapy for completely eradicating the 4T1 tumors without recurrence by NIR-II laser irradiation. This work pioneers the thermodynamic therapy for oxygen-independent cancer treatment by photonic triggering at the NIR-II biowindow.