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Open AccessArticle

Poisonous Caterpillar-Inspired Chitosan Nanofiber Enabling Dual Photothermal and Photodynamic Tumor Ablation

1
Department of Biotechnology, The Catholic University of Korea, 43 Jibong-ro, Bucheon-si, Gyeonggi-do 14662, Korea
2
Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Lipid Research, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO 63110, USA
3
Research Center for Bio-Based Chemistry, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT), Ulsan 44429, Korea
4
Advanced Materials and Chemical Engineering, University of Science and Technology (UCT), Daejeon 34113, Korea
5
College of Pharmacy, Chung-Ang University, 84 Heukseok-ro, Dongjak-gu, Seoul 06974, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors equally contributed to this work.
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(6), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11060258
Received: 4 May 2019 / Revised: 29 May 2019 / Accepted: 30 May 2019 / Published: 2 June 2019
As caterpillars detect the presence of predators and secrete poison, herein, we show an innovative and highly effective cancer therapeutic system using biocompatible chitosan nanofiber (CNf) installed with a pH-responsive motif that senses tumor extracellular pH, pHe, prior to delivering dual-modal light-activatable materials for tumor reduction. The filamentous nanostructure of CNf is dynamic during cell interaction and durable in blood circulation. Due to its amine group, CNf uptakes a large amount of photothermal gold nanoparticles (AuNPs, >25 wt %) and photodynamic chlorin e6 (Ce6, >5 wt %). As the innovative CNf approaches tumors, cationic CNf effectively discharges AuNPs connected to the pH-responsive motif via electrostatic repulsion and selectively binds to tumor cells that are generally anionic, via the electrostatic attraction accompanied by CNf. We demonstrated via these actions that the endocytosed Ce6 (on CNf) and AuNPs (free from CNf) significantly elicited tumor cell death under light irradiation. As a result, the synergistic interplay of thermogenesis and photodynamic action was observed to switch on at the pHe, resulting in a striking reduction in tumor formation and growth rate upon light exposure. View Full-Text
Keywords: pH-sensitive chitosan nanofiber; photothermal gold nanoparticles; photodynamic chlorin e6; synergistic tumor therapy; tumor-targeted drug delivery system pH-sensitive chitosan nanofiber; photothermal gold nanoparticles; photodynamic chlorin e6; synergistic tumor therapy; tumor-targeted drug delivery system
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Yu, H.S.; Park, H.; Tran, T.H.; Hwang, S.Y.; Na, K.; Lee, E.S.; Oh, K.T.; Oh, D.X.; Park, J. Poisonous Caterpillar-Inspired Chitosan Nanofiber Enabling Dual Photothermal and Photodynamic Tumor Ablation. Pharmaceutics 2019, 11, 258.

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