Theranostic nanoparticles – small complexes that can be used for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes – represent a next generation of smart medicines. In this case, a hybrid nanoparticle with core/satellite architecture is capable of functioning as a contrast agent for diagnostic imaging of a cancer patient as well as a photothermal therapy agent for laser-based tumor ablation. These multimodal probes and non-toxic, easily synthesized, and have been shown effective for photothermal tissue ablation in mice.
Core/satellite design enables theranostic function
Leveraging unique properties of two different types of nanoparticles, researches at the University of Michigan have created a core/satellite nanoparticle. The core element serves as a contrast agent for various diagnostic imaging modes and the satellite particles can be activated by near-infrared light for photothermal therapy. Moreover, the nanoparticle complex can be tuned to effectively control the near-IR absorbance of the satellite particles and the core/satellite complex can be made to dissociate under specific environmental conditions (such as pH or temperature), possibly allowing the smaller satellite particles to penetrate deeper into the tumor mass.
- Advanced, tunable photothermal therapy agent
- Contrast agent for diagnostic imaging
- Tunable absorption
- Core/satellite dissociation can lead to better tumor penetration