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Intracellular ZnO Nanorods Conjugated with Protoporphyrin for Local Mediated Photochemistry and Efficient Treatment of Single Cancer Cell

S Kishwar1, MH Asif1, O Nur1, M Willander1* and Per-Olof Larsson2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Science and Technology, Campus Norrköping, Linköping University, 60174, Norrköping, Sweden

2 Department of Pure and Applied Biochemistry, Lund University, Box 124, 221 00, Lund, Sweden

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2010, 5:1669-1674  doi:10.1007/s11671-010-9693-z

Published: 15 July 2010


ZnO nanorods (NRs) with high surface area to volume ratio and biocompatibility is used as an efficient photosensitizer carrier system and at the same time providing intrinsic white light needed to achieve cancer cell necrosis. In this letter, ZnO nanorods used for the treatment of breast cancer cell (T47D) are presented. To adjust the sample for intracellular experiments, we have grown the ZnO nanorods on the tip of borosilicate glass capillaries (0.5 μm diameter) by aqueous chemical growth technique. The grown ZnO nanorods were conjugated using protoporphyrin dimethyl ester (PPDME), which absorbs the light emitted by the ZnO nanorods. Mechanism of cytotoxicity appears to involve the generation of singlet oxygen inside the cell. The novel findings of cell-localized toxicity indicate a potential application of PPDME-conjugated ZnO NRs in the necrosis of breast cancer cell within few minutes.

ZnO nanorods; Cancer cell necrosis; Photodynamic therapy; Protoporphyrin dimethyl ester