Scientists Discover Novel Technology for Precise Theranosis of Cancer


Recently, the research team headed by Dr. ZHOU Min with ZJU’s Institute of Translational Medicine, and the research team from ZJU’s Second Affiliated Hospital, have invented high-efficient clearable nanoparticles for multi-modal imaging and image-guided cancer therapy. The relevant findings are published as a back-cover article in Advanced Functional Materials.

Renal-clearable nanoparticles render it possible to overcome the toxicity by nonspecific accumulation in healthy tissues/organs due to their highly efficient clearance characteristics. However, their tumor uptake is relatively low due to the short blood circulation time and rapid body elimination.

This problem can be addressed by developing renal-clearable nanoparticles by controlled coating of sub-6 nm CuS nanodots (CuSNDs) on doxorubicin ladened mesoporous silica nanoparticles for multimodal application. High tumor uptake of the as-synthesized nanoparticles (abbreviated as MDNs) is achieved due to the longer blood circulation time. The MDNs also show excellent performance in bimodal imaging. Moreover, the MDNs demonstrate a photothermally sensitive drug release and pronounced synergetic effects of chemo-photothermal therapy, which are confirmed by two different tumor models in vivo.

A novel key feature of the proposed synthesis is the use of renal-clearable CuSNDs and biodegradable mesoporous silica nanoparticles which also are renal-clearable after degradation. Therefore, the MDNs would be rapidly degraded and excreted in a reasonable period in living body and avoid long-term toxicity. Such biodegradable and clearable single-compartment theranostic agents applicable in highly integrated multimodal imaging and multiple therapeutic functions may have substantial potentials in clinical practice.

This research is funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and the Chinese Thousand Youth Talents Program.