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Lanthanide–Cyclen–Camptothecin Nanocomposites for Cancer Theranostics Guided by Near-Infrared and Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Zhang, Yonghong and Ma, Xia and Chau, Ho-Fai and Thor, Waygen and Jiang, Lijun and Zha, Shuai and Fok, Wan-Yiu and Mak, Ho-Nam and Zhang, Junhui and Cai, Jing and Ng, Chi-Fai and Li, Hongguang and Parker, David and Li, Li and Law, Ga-Lai and Wong, Ka-Leung (2021) 'Lanthanide–Cyclen–Camptothecin Nanocomposites for Cancer Theranostics Guided by Near-Infrared and Magnetic Resonance Imaging.', ACS applied nano materials., 4 (1). pp. 271-278.


We have devised a molecular-to-micellar strategy to incorporate a lanthanide nanoplatform for the delivery of an anticancer drug that simultaneously offers hybrid near-infrared (NIR) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) capabilities with defined lanthanide(III) ratio control. This cancer-selective lanthanide-based self-assembled nanocomposite (LnNPs) has been synthesized by conjugating lanthanide–cyclen complexes (cycLn) with a well-known drug–camptothecin (CPT) through a redox-sensitive disulfide bond (−ss–). By accurately controlling the ratio of Gd(III) and Yb(III) complexes, we prepared hybrid nanoparticles (Gd/YbNPs) with both NIR and MR imaging properties. The enhanced stability at ultralow critical aggregation concentrations (CACs), simultaneous optical and MR imaging, improved delivery/chemotherapeutic efficiency, and cancer cell selectivity of such nanomicellar theranostic prodrugs in vitro and in vivo have thus been achieved and validated. The work provides a blueprint combining a stimuli-activated NIR luminescence and real-time MR imaging into a safe and biocompatible nanoplatform for selective cancer treatment.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in ACS Applied Nano Materials, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see
Date accepted:11 December 2020
Date deposited:04 June 2021
Date of first online publication:04 January 2021
Date first made open access:04 January 2022

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