Super-efficient in Vivo Two-Photon Photodynamic Therapy with a Gold Nanocluster as a Type I Photosensitizer

Rongcheng Han, Miao Zhao, Zhiwei Wang, Helin Liu, Shengcang Zhu, Lu Huang, Yu Wang, Lijun Wang, Yuankai Hong, Yinlin Sha and Yuqiang Jiang

ACS Nano


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a clinically approved, minimally invasive therapeutic technique that can induce the regression of targeted lesions via generating excess cytotoxic reactive oxygen species. However, due to the limited penetration depth of visible excitation light and the intrinsic hypoxia microenvironment of solid tumors, the efficacy of PDT in the treatment of cancer, especially deep-seated or large tumors, is unsatisfactory. Herein, we developed an efficient in vivo PDT system based on a nanomaterial, dihydrolipoic acid coated gold nanocluster (AuNC@DHLA), that combined the advantages of large penetration depth in tissue, extremely high two-photon (TP) absorption cross section (σ2 ~ 106 GM), efficient ROS generation, a type I photochemical mechanism, and negligible in vivo toxicity. With AuNC@DHLA as the photosensitizer, highly efficient in vivo TP-PDT has been achieved.