Main > Journal of Innovative Optical Health >  Volume 11 >  Issue 4 >  Page 1850016 > Article
Journal of Innovative Optical Health, Vol. 11, Issue 4, 1850016 (2018)

Identification of a mitochondria-targeting fluorescent small molecule for dual phototherapy

Jie Chen1, Xu Tan1, Shenglin Luo1, Lei Long1, Lang Liu1, Zujuan Liu1, Yu Wang1,*, and Chunmeng Shi1

Author Affiliations

  • 1State Key Laboratory of Trauma, Burns and Combined Injury Institute of Combined Injury, Chongqing Engineering Research Center for Nanomedicine, College of Preventive Medicine Army Medical University, 30, Gaotanyan Street, Chongqing 400038, P. R. China


Phototherapy, mainly including photodynamic therapy (PDT) and photothermal therapy (PTT), is a noninvasive and effective approach for cancer treatment. Since integration of PDT and PTT for simultaneous synergistic PDT/PTT treatment enables us to improve phototherapeutic e±cacy significantly, it has been attracting a lot of investigations in current days. Here, we introduce IR-52, a new mitochondria-targeting near infrared (NIR) fluorescent small molecule, which possesses structure-inherent PTT and PDT synergistic phototherapeutic effects without conjugation to specific ligands. After NIR light irradiation (808 nm, 2W/cm2, 5 min), both the hyperthermia and excessive singlet oxygen levels were determined when dissolving IR-52 in aqueous solutions. In vitro photoinduced cytotoxicity studies showed significant lower cell viabilities and higher necrotic/apoptotic rates when cancer cells were treated with IR-52 and irradiation, and its' mitochondrial localization in cancer cells would partially explain its high cytotoxicity. Further in vivo synergetic PDT and PTT effects were demonstrated by high tumor surface temperature and significant inhibition of tumor growth. Our results strongly suggest that IR-52, which possesses excellent photosensitivity, may provide a promising strategy for tumor treatment with decreased side effects.