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Multifunctional Metal–Organic Framework Nanoprobe for Cathepsin B-Activated Cancer Cell Imaging and Chemo-Photodynamic Therapy

Liu, Jintong, Zhang, Lei, Lei, Jianping, Shen, Hong, Ju, Huangxian
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2017 v.9 no.3 pp. 2150-2158
cathepsins, chlorine, coordination polymers, encapsulation, folic acid, image analysis, irradiation, neoplasm cells, neoplasms, photochemotherapy, photosensitizing agents
Integration of a photodynamic therapy platform with a drug-delivery system in a porous structure is an urgent challenge for enhanced anticancer therapy. Here, an amino-functionalized metal–organic framework (MOF), which is useful as efficient delivery vehicle for drugs and provides the −NH₂ group for postsynthetic modification, is chosen and well-designed for cell imaging and chemo-photodynamic therapy. The multifunctional MOF nanoprobe was first assembled with camptothecine drug via noncovalent encapsulation and then bound with folic acid as the targeted element and chlorine e6 (Ce6)-labeled CaB substrate peptide as the recognition moiety and signal switch. The designed MOF probe can realize cathepsin B-activated cancer cell imaging and chemo-photodynamic dual-therapy combining Ce6 as the photosensitizer and the camptothecine drug. Compared with the individual treatment, the dual-functional nanoprobe presents an enhanced treatment efficiency in terms of the time of chemotherapy, laser power, and irradiation time of the photodynamic therapy, which has been confirmed in cancer cells and in vivo assays. This work presents a significant example of the MOF nanoprobe as an intracellular switch and shows great potential in cancer cell targeted imaging and multiple therapies.