Biocompatible Conjugated Polymer Nanoparticles for Efficient Photothermal Tumor Therapy

Junlong Geng, Chunyang Sun, Jie Liu, Lun De Liao, Youyong Yuan, Nitish Thakor, Jun Wang, Bin Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


Conjugated polymers (CPs) with strong near-infrared (NIR) absorption and high heat conversion efficiency have emerged as a new generation of photothermal therapy (PTT) agents for cancer therapy. An efficient strategy to design NIR absorbing CPs with good water dispersibility is essential to achieve excellent therapeutic effect. In this work, poly[9,9-bis(4-(2-ethylhexyl)phenyl)fluorene-alt-co-6,7-bis(4-(hexyloxy)phenyl)-4,9-di(thiophen-2-yl)-thiadiazoloquinoxaline] (PFTTQ) is synthesized through the combination of donor-acceptor moieties by Suzuki polymerization. PFTTQ nanoparticles (NPs) are fabricated through a precipitation approach using 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine-N-[methoxy(polyethylene glycol)-2000] (DSPE-PEG2000) as the encapsulation matrix. Due to the large NIR absorption coefficient (3.6 L g-1 cm-1), the temperature of PFTTQ NP suspension (0.5 mg/mL) could be rapidly increased to more than 50 °C upon continuous 808 nm laser irradiation (0.75 W/cm2) for 5 min. The PFTTQ NPs show good biocompatibility to both MDA-MB-231 cells and Hela cells at 400 μg/mL of NPs, while upon laser irradiation, effective cancer cell killing is observed at a NP concentration of 50 μg/mL. Moreover, PFTTQ NPs could efficiently ablate tumor in in vivo study using a Hela tumor mouse model. Considering the large amount of NIR absorbing CPs available, the general encapsulation strategy will enable the development of more efficient PTT agents for cancer or tumor therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1603-1610
Number of pages8
Issue number13
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • cancer therapy
  • conjugated polymers
  • near-infrared absorption
  • organic nanoparticles
  • photothermal therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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