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Porous silicon nanoparticles for cancer photothermotherapy

Chanseok Hong1, Jungkeun Lee1, Hongmei Zheng2, Soon-Sun Hong2 and Chongmu Lee1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Inha University, 253 Yonghyeon-dong, Incheon, 402-751, Republic of Korea

2 College of Medicine, Inha University, Shinheong-dong, Incheon, 400-712, Republic of Korea

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:321  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-321

Published: 11 April 2011


The in vitro cell tests and in vivo animal tests were performed to investigate the feasibility of the photothermal therapy based on porous silicon (PSi) in combination with near-infrared (NIR) laser. According to the Annexin V- fluorescein isothiocyanate Apoptosis assay test results, the untreated cells and the cells exposed to NIR laser without PSi treatment had a cell viability of 95.6 and 91.3%, respectively. Likewise, the cells treated with PSi but not with NIR irradiation also had a cell viability of 74.4%. Combination of these two techniques, however, showed a cell viability of 6.7%. Also, the cell deaths were mostly due to necrosis but partly due to late apoptosis. The in vivo animal test results showed that the Murine colon carcinoma (CT-26) tumors were completely resorbed without nearly giving damage to surrounding healthy tissue within 5 days of PSi and NIR laser treatment. Tumors have not recurred at all in the PSi/NIR treatment groups thereafter. Both the in vitro cell test and in vivo animal test results suggest that thermotherapy based on PSi in combination with NIR laser irradiation is an efficient technique to selectively destroy cancer cells without damaging the surrounding healthy cells.