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Studies on Preparation of Photosensitizer Loaded Magnetic Silica Nanoparticles and Their Anti-Tumor Effects for Targeting Photodynamic Therapy

Zhi-Long Chen*, Yun Sun, Peng Huang, Xiao-Xia Yang and Xing-Ping Zhou*

Author Affiliations

Department of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, College of Chemistry and Biology, Donghua University, Shanghai, 201620, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2009, 4:400-408  doi:10.1007/s11671-009-9254-5

Published: 31 January 2009


As a fast developing alternative of traditional therapeutics, photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an effective, noninvasive, nontoxic therapeutics for cancer, senile macular degeneration, and so on. But the efficacy of PDT was compromised by insufficient selectivity and low solubility. In this study, novel multifunctional silica-based magnetic nanoparticles (SMNPs) were strategically designed and prepared as targeting drug delivery system to achieve higher specificity and better solubility. 2,7,12,18-Tetramethyl-3,8-di-(1-propoxyethyl)-13,17-bis-(3-hydroxypropyl) porphyrin, shorted as PHPP, was used as photosensitizer, which was first synthesized by our lab with good PDT effects. Magnetite nanoparticles (Fe3O4) and PHPP were incorporated into silica nanoparticles by microemulsion and sol–gel methods. The prepared nanoparticles were characterized by transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and fluorescence spectroscopy. The nanoparticles were approximately spherical with 20–30 nm diameter. Intense fluorescence of PHPP was monitored in the cytoplasm of SW480 cells. The nanoparticles possessed good biocompatibility and could generate singlet oxygen to cause remarkable photodynamic anti-tumor effects. These suggested that PHPP-SMNPs had great potential as effective drug delivery system in targeting photodynamic therapy, diagnostic magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic hyperthermia therapy.

Targeting photodynamic therapy; Photosensitizer; Silica; Magnetic nanoparticles; Tumor