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Biocompatible TeSex nano-alloys for PT/PA/CT/PET imaging-guided NIR-II-photothermal therapy


The emergence of diverse multifunctional nanomaterials and advanced nanotechnologies unprecedentedly simulates the evolution of nanotheranostics, and enables the integration of multimodal imaging and therapeutic functions in a single theranostic nanoparticle for high-efficacy theranostics of diseases. In engineering of theranostic nanoplatforms, biocompatibility and multifunction are two most important factors which need to be considered. Among various nanotheranostics, multimodal imaging-guided photothermal therapy has attracted intensive attention owing to its less invasiveness and lower side effects compared with conventional radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

In a new article published in the Beijing-based National Science Review, scientists in Shenzhen University, China, hypothesize that controllable incorporation of the biocompatible Se element into the lattice of Te nanostructures for construction of TeSex nano-alloys could intrinsically tune the inherent cytotoxicity of Te nanomaterials, enhance the biocompatibility of Te nanomaterials and extend their functions for biomedical applications. In this work, a series of TeSex nano-alloys with different Se incorporating proportions are synthesized to investigate their biocompatibility and develop their theranostic functions.

It has been determined that the toxicity of Te nanomaterials mainly comes from irreversible oxidation stress and intracellular imbalance of organization and energy, which is exterminated by the nano-alloying by incorporating a moderate proportion of Se (x=0.43). The synthesized TeSex nano-alloy exhibits extraordinarily high NIR-II-photothermal conversion efficiency (77.2%), 64Cu coordination and CT contrast capabilities, enabling high-efficacy photothermal therapy of cancer under the guidance of multimodal PT/PA/PET/CT imaging.

Several main advances have been achieved. Firstly, advanced TeSex nano-alloys may be facilely constructed to intrinsically eliminate the inherent toxicity of Te nanomaterials by the moderate incorporation of biocompatible Se. Secondly, advanced mechanisms for Te nanomaterial toxification and TeSex alloying detoxification were uncovered. Finally, advanced theranostic performance with ordinarily high NIR-II-photothermal efficiency and multimodal PT/PA/CT/PET imaging capability have been achieved by the proposed nano-alloying strategy.