Characterization of nanoparticles combining polyamine detection with photodynamic therapy

Wenting Li, Lingyun Wang*, Tianlei Sun, Hao Tang, Brian Bui, Derong Cao, Ruibing Wang*, Wei Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Polyamine detection and depletion have been extensively investigated for cancer prevention and treatment. However, the therapeutic efficacy is far from satisfactory, mainly due to a polyamine compensation mechanism from the systemic circulation in the tumor environment. Herein, we explore a new solution for improving polyamine detection as well as a possible consumption therapy based on a new photosensitizer that can efficiently consume polyamines via an irreversible chemical reaction. The new photosensitizer is pyrrolopyrroleaza-BODIPY pyridinium salt (PPAB-PyS) nanoparticles that can react with the over-expressed polyamine in cancer cells and produce two photosensitizers with enhanced phototoxicity on cancer destruction. Meanwhile, PPAB-PyS nanoparticles provide a simultaneous ratiometric fluorescence imaging of intracellular polyamine. This combination polyamine consumption with a chemical reaction provides a new modality to enable polyamine detection along with photodynamic therapy as well as a putative depletion of polyamines for cancer treatment and prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number803
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


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