ORGANIC SEMICONDUCTING NANOPARTICLES FOR AMPLIFIED PHOTOACOUSTIC IMAGING AND PHOTOTHERMAL THERAPY
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Optical theranostic nanoagents that seamlessly and synergistically integrate light-generated signals with photothermal therapy can provide opportunities for cost-effective precision medicine, while the potential for clinical translation requires them to have good biocompatibility and high imaging/therapy performance. Semiconducting polymer nanoparticles (SPNs) have emerged as a category of new optical nanomaterials that can be easily transformed from hydrophobic semiconducting polymers (SPs). As optoelectronically active SPs are completely organic and biologically benign, SPNs intrinsically circumvent the issue of heavy metal ion induced toxicity to living organisms and thus possess good biocompatibility. In this talk, we will demonstrate how to capitalize on the nanoparticle engineering approach to develop SPNs into theranostics for amplified imaging and therapy. In particular, the design principle will be revealed along with their biomedical applications in photoacoustic imaging and photothermal therapy of tumor in living mice. Our work not only introduces an advanced category of purely organic optical theranostics but also provides a molecular guideline to amplify the effectiveness of light-intensive imaging and therapeutic nanosystems.