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Hierarchical Nanohybrids of Gold Nanorods and PGMA-Based Polycations for Multifunctional Theranostics

Organic/inorganic nanohybrids hold great importance in fabricating multifunctional theranostics to integrate therapeutic functions with real-time imaging. Although Au nanorods (NRs) have been employed for theranostics, complicated design of materials limits their practical applications. In this work, we designed and synthesized new multifunctional theranostic agents employing Au nanorods (NRs) with desirable near-infrared (NIR) absorbance as the cores. A facile “grafting-onto” approach was put forward to prepare the series of hierarchical nanohybrids (Au-PGEA and Au-PGED) of Au NRs and poly(glycidyl methacrylate) (PGMA)-based polycations. The resultant nanohybrids could be utilized as gene carriers with high gene transfection performances. The structural effect of polycations on gene transfection was investigated in detail, and Au-PGEA with abundant hydroxyl groups on the surface exhibited superior performance. Au-PGEA nanohybrids were further validated to possess remarkable capability of combined photothermal therapy (PTT) and gene therapy (GT) for complementary tumor treatment. Moreover, significantly enhanced computed tomography (CT)/photoacoustic (PA) signals were detected both in vitro and in vivo, verifying the potential of Au-PGEA for dual-modal imaging with precise and accurate information. Therefore, these multifunctional nanohybrids fabricated from a simple and straightforward strategy are promising for in vivo dual-modal CT/PA imaging guided GT/PTT therapy with high antitumor efficacy.

Written by: Nana Zhao | |