A Self-Evaluating Photothermal Therapeutic Nanoparticle
Today, tumor therapy and its therapeutic efficiency evaluation are conducted separately, and current imaging techniques cannot evaluate tumor-therapeutic effects in real time. Therefore, it is of great importance to develop highly efficient theranostic strategies which are able to evaluate their tumor-therapeutic effects in real time. In this work, by rational design of a small molecular near-infrared probe Cys(StBu)-Asp-Glu-Val-Asp-Lys(Cypate)-CBT (Cy-CBT) and using a CBT-Cys click condensation reaction, we facilely prepare an intelligent nanoparticle Cy-CBT-NP which is able to evaluate its photothermal therapy (PTT) efficiency on tumors by fluorescence “Turn-On”. Fluorescence of Cy-CBT-NP is quenched and photothermal responsive. Upon caspase 3 (Casp3) cleavage of its DEVD substrates, Cy-CBT-NP disassembles to turn the fluorescence “On”, which in turn evaluates the PTT efficiency of the nanoparticle on cells and tumors in real time. We envision that our smart strategy could be applied for PTT and real-time evaluation of the therapeutic efficiency of solid tumors in the near future.