Noncovalent self-assembled smart gold(III) porphyrin nanodrug for synergistic chemo-photothermal therapy

Xiao Wang, Jiefei Wang, Jinghan Wang, Yong Zhong, Lulu Han, Jiliang Yan, Pengcheng Duan, Bingyang Shi, Feng Bai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Self-assembly is a powerful means to fabricate multifunctional smart nanotheranostics. However, the complicated preparation, toxicity of responsive carriers, and low loading efficiency of drug cargo hinder the outcome. Herein, we developed a responsive carrier-free noncovalent self-assembly strategy of a metallized Au(III) tetra-(4-pyridyl) porphine (AuTPyP) anticancer drug for the preparation of a heat/acid dual-stimulated nanodrug, and it generated a better photothermal effect than monomers under irradiation. The photothermal effect promoted the protonation of the hydrophobic pyridyl group and the following release into tumorous acidic microenvironments. With cRGD modification, the released drug induced the aggravation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) via the activity inhibition of thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) for synergistic chemo-photothermal therapy of tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3418-3425
Number of pages8
JournalNano Letters
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2021


  • dual stimuli
  • gold porphyrin
  • metalation
  • self-assembly
  • synergistic therapy


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