X-ray-induced nanoparticle-based photodynamic therapy of cancer

Xiaoju Zou, Mingzhen Yao, Lun Ma, Marius Hossu, Xiumei Han, Petras Juzenas, Wei Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: In this study, Ce3+-doped lanthanum(III) fluoride (LaF3:Ce3+) nanoparticles were synthesized by a wet-chemistry method in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and their application as an intracellular light source for photodynamic activation was demonstrated.

Materials & methods: The LaF3:Ce3+/DMSO nanoparticles have a strong green emission with a peak at approximately 520 nm, which is effectively overlapped with the absorption of protoporphyrin IX (PPIX). The nanoparticles were encapsulated into poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide (PLGA) microspheres along with PPIX. Upon irradiation with x-rays (90 kV), energy transfer from the LaF3:Ce3+/DMSO nanoparticles to PPIX occurs and singlet oxygen is generated for cancer cell damage.

Results: The LaF3:Ce3+/DMSO/PLGA or LaF3:Ce3+/DMSO/PPIX/PLGA microspheres alone caused only sublethal cytotoxicity to the cancer cells. Upon x-ray irradiation, the LaF3:Ce3+/DMSO/PPIX/PLGA microspheres induced oxidative stress, mitochondrial damage and DNA fragmentation on prostate cancer cells (PC3).

Discussion: The results indicate that x-rays can activate LaF3:Ce3+ and PPIX nanocomposites, which can be a novel method for cancer destruction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2339-2351
Number of pages13
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • LaF3:Ce3+
  • cancer
  • energy transfer
  • luminescence
  • nanoparticle
  • photodynamic therapy
  • photosensitizer
  • prostate cancer
  • singlet oxygen
  • treatment


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