Prussian blue (PB) is a coordination polymer studied since the early 18th century, historically known as a pigment. PB can be prepared in colloidal form with a straightforward synthesis. It has a strong charge-transfer absorption centered at ~700 nm, with a large tail in the Near-IR range. Irradiation of this band results in thermal relaxation and can be exploited to generate a local hyperthermia by irradiating in the so-called bio-transparent Near-IR window. PB nanoparticles are fully biocompatible (PB has already been approved by FDA) and biodegradable, this making them ideal candidates for in vivo use. While papers based on the imaging, drug-delivery and absorbing properties of PB nanoparticles have appeared and have been reviewed in the past decades, a very recent interest is flourishing with the use of PB nanoparticles as photothermal agents in biomedical applications. This review summarizes the syntheses and the optical features of PB nanoparticles in relation to their photothermal use and describes the state of the art of PB nanoparticles as photothermal agents, also in combination with diagnostic techniques.
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