Deep-penetrating photodynamic therapy with KillerRed mediated by upconversion nanoparticles

Liuen Liang, Yiqing Lu, Run Zhang, Andrew Care, Tiago A. Ortega, Sergey M. Deyev, Yi Qian, Andrei V. Zvyagin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The fluorescent protein KillerRed, a new type of biological photosensitizer, is considered as a promising substitute for current synthetic photosensitizes used in photodynamic therapy (PDT). However, broad application of this photosensitiser in treating deep-seated lesions is challenging due to the limited tissue penetration of the excitation light with the wavelength falling in the visible spectral range. To overcome this challenge, we employ upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) that are able to convert deep-penetrating near infrared (NIR) light to green light to excite KillerRed locally, followed by the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) to kill tumour cells under centimetre-thick tissue. The photosensitizing bio-nanohybrids, KillerRed-UCNPs, are fabricated through covalent conjugation of KillerRed and UCNPs. The resulting KillerRed-UCNPs exhibit excellent colloidal stability in biological buffers and low cytotoxicity in the dark. Cross-comparison between the conventional KillerRed and UCNP-mediated KillerRed PDT demonstrated superiority of KillerRed-UCNPs photosensitizing by NIR irradiation, manifested by the fact that ∼70% PDT efficacy was achieved at 1-cm tissue depth, whereas that of the conventional KillerRed dropped to ∼7%.

Statement of Significance

KillerRed is a protein photosensitizer that holds promise as an alternative for the existing hydrophobic photosensitizers that are widely used in clinical photodynamic therapy (PDT). However, applications of KillerRed to deep-seated tumours are limited by the insufficient penetration depth of the excitation light in highly scattering and absorbing biological tissues. Herein, we reported the deployment of upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) to enhance the treatment depth of KillerRed by converting the deep-penetrating near-infrared (NIR) light to upconversion photoluminescence and activating the PDT effect of KillerRed under deep tissues. This work demonstrated clear potential of UCNPs as the NIR-to-visible light converter to overcome the light penetration limit that has plagued PDT application for many years.

LanguageEnglish
Pages461-470
Number of pages10
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Volume51
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Fingerprint

Photodynamic therapy
Photochemotherapy
Nanoparticles
Photosensitizing Agents
Photosensitizers
Light
Tissue
Infrared radiation
Tumors
Proteins
Methyl Green
Cytotoxicity
Reactive Oxygen Species
Neoplasms
Photoluminescence
Buffers
Cells
Irradiation
Scattering
Wavelength

Cite this

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title = "Deep-penetrating photodynamic therapy with KillerRed mediated by upconversion nanoparticles",
abstract = "The fluorescent protein KillerRed, a new type of biological photosensitizer, is considered as a promising substitute for current synthetic photosensitizes used in photodynamic therapy (PDT). However, broad application of this photosensitiser in treating deep-seated lesions is challenging due to the limited tissue penetration of the excitation light with the wavelength falling in the visible spectral range. To overcome this challenge, we employ upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) that are able to convert deep-penetrating near infrared (NIR) light to green light to excite KillerRed locally, followed by the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) to kill tumour cells under centimetre-thick tissue. The photosensitizing bio-nanohybrids, KillerRed-UCNPs, are fabricated through covalent conjugation of KillerRed and UCNPs. The resulting KillerRed-UCNPs exhibit excellent colloidal stability in biological buffers and low cytotoxicity in the dark. Cross-comparison between the conventional KillerRed and UCNP-mediated KillerRed PDT demonstrated superiority of KillerRed-UCNPs photosensitizing by NIR irradiation, manifested by the fact that ∼70{\%} PDT efficacy was achieved at 1-cm tissue depth, whereas that of the conventional KillerRed dropped to ∼7{\%}. Statement of Significance KillerRed is a protein photosensitizer that holds promise as an alternative for the existing hydrophobic photosensitizers that are widely used in clinical photodynamic therapy (PDT). However, applications of KillerRed to deep-seated tumours are limited by the insufficient penetration depth of the excitation light in highly scattering and absorbing biological tissues. Herein, we reported the deployment of upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) to enhance the treatment depth of KillerRed by converting the deep-penetrating near-infrared (NIR) light to upconversion photoluminescence and activating the PDT effect of KillerRed under deep tissues. This work demonstrated clear potential of UCNPs as the NIR-to-visible light converter to overcome the light penetration limit that has plagued PDT application for many years.",
keywords = "Photodynamic therapy, Photosensitizing protein, Upconversion nanoparticles, Energy transfer, Reactive oxygen species",
author = "Liuen Liang and Yiqing Lu and Run Zhang and Andrew Care and Ortega, {Tiago A.} and Deyev, {Sergey M.} and Yi Qian and Zvyagin, {Andrei V.}",
year = "2017",
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Deep-penetrating photodynamic therapy with KillerRed mediated by upconversion nanoparticles. / Liang, Liuen; Lu, Yiqing; Zhang, Run; Care, Andrew; Ortega, Tiago A.; Deyev, Sergey M.; Qian, Yi; Zvyagin, Andrei V.

In: Acta Biomaterialia, Vol. 51, 2017, p. 461-470.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Deep-penetrating photodynamic therapy with KillerRed mediated by upconversion nanoparticles

AU - Liang,Liuen

AU - Lu,Yiqing

AU - Zhang,Run

AU - Care,Andrew

AU - Ortega,Tiago A.

AU - Deyev,Sergey M.

AU - Qian,Yi

AU - Zvyagin,Andrei V.

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N2 - The fluorescent protein KillerRed, a new type of biological photosensitizer, is considered as a promising substitute for current synthetic photosensitizes used in photodynamic therapy (PDT). However, broad application of this photosensitiser in treating deep-seated lesions is challenging due to the limited tissue penetration of the excitation light with the wavelength falling in the visible spectral range. To overcome this challenge, we employ upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) that are able to convert deep-penetrating near infrared (NIR) light to green light to excite KillerRed locally, followed by the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) to kill tumour cells under centimetre-thick tissue. The photosensitizing bio-nanohybrids, KillerRed-UCNPs, are fabricated through covalent conjugation of KillerRed and UCNPs. The resulting KillerRed-UCNPs exhibit excellent colloidal stability in biological buffers and low cytotoxicity in the dark. Cross-comparison between the conventional KillerRed and UCNP-mediated KillerRed PDT demonstrated superiority of KillerRed-UCNPs photosensitizing by NIR irradiation, manifested by the fact that ∼70% PDT efficacy was achieved at 1-cm tissue depth, whereas that of the conventional KillerRed dropped to ∼7%. Statement of Significance KillerRed is a protein photosensitizer that holds promise as an alternative for the existing hydrophobic photosensitizers that are widely used in clinical photodynamic therapy (PDT). However, applications of KillerRed to deep-seated tumours are limited by the insufficient penetration depth of the excitation light in highly scattering and absorbing biological tissues. Herein, we reported the deployment of upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) to enhance the treatment depth of KillerRed by converting the deep-penetrating near-infrared (NIR) light to upconversion photoluminescence and activating the PDT effect of KillerRed under deep tissues. This work demonstrated clear potential of UCNPs as the NIR-to-visible light converter to overcome the light penetration limit that has plagued PDT application for many years.

AB - The fluorescent protein KillerRed, a new type of biological photosensitizer, is considered as a promising substitute for current synthetic photosensitizes used in photodynamic therapy (PDT). However, broad application of this photosensitiser in treating deep-seated lesions is challenging due to the limited tissue penetration of the excitation light with the wavelength falling in the visible spectral range. To overcome this challenge, we employ upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) that are able to convert deep-penetrating near infrared (NIR) light to green light to excite KillerRed locally, followed by the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) to kill tumour cells under centimetre-thick tissue. The photosensitizing bio-nanohybrids, KillerRed-UCNPs, are fabricated through covalent conjugation of KillerRed and UCNPs. The resulting KillerRed-UCNPs exhibit excellent colloidal stability in biological buffers and low cytotoxicity in the dark. Cross-comparison between the conventional KillerRed and UCNP-mediated KillerRed PDT demonstrated superiority of KillerRed-UCNPs photosensitizing by NIR irradiation, manifested by the fact that ∼70% PDT efficacy was achieved at 1-cm tissue depth, whereas that of the conventional KillerRed dropped to ∼7%. Statement of Significance KillerRed is a protein photosensitizer that holds promise as an alternative for the existing hydrophobic photosensitizers that are widely used in clinical photodynamic therapy (PDT). However, applications of KillerRed to deep-seated tumours are limited by the insufficient penetration depth of the excitation light in highly scattering and absorbing biological tissues. Herein, we reported the deployment of upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) to enhance the treatment depth of KillerRed by converting the deep-penetrating near-infrared (NIR) light to upconversion photoluminescence and activating the PDT effect of KillerRed under deep tissues. This work demonstrated clear potential of UCNPs as the NIR-to-visible light converter to overcome the light penetration limit that has plagued PDT application for many years.

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