5 years ago

Rational Design of Ultrabright SERS Probes with Embedded Reporters for Bioimaging and Photothermal Therapy

Rational Design of Ultrabright SERS Probes with Embedded Reporters for Bioimaging and Photothermal Therapy
Jian Ye, Nikolai G. Khlebtsov, Vitaly A. Khanadeev, Boris N. Khlebtsov, Xiulong Jin
Plasmonic nanoparticles can be utilized as surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) probes for bioimaging and as photothermal (PT) agents for cancer therapy. Typically, their SERS and PT efficiencies reach maximal values under the on-resonant condition, when the excitation wavelength overlaps the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) wavelength preferably in the near-infrared (NIR) biological window. However, the photogenerated heat may inevitably disturb or even destroy biological samples during the imaging process. Herein, we develop ultrabright SERS probes composed of metallic Au@Ag core–shell rodlike nanomatryoshkas (RNMs) with embedded Raman reporters. By rationally controlling the Ag shell thickness, the LSPR of RNMs can be tuned from UV to NIR range, resulting in highly tunable SERS and PT properties. As bright NIR SERS imaging nanoprobes, RNMs with a thick Ag shell are designed for minimal PT damage to the biological targets under the off-resonance condition, as illustrated through monitoring the changes in mitochondrial membrane potential of cancer cells during SERS imaging procedure. By contrast, RNMs with a thin Ag shell are designed as multifunctional NIR theranostic probes that combine enhanced photothermal therapy capability, as exemplified by efficient PT killing of cancer cells, with reduced yet still efficient imaging properties at the on-resonance excitation.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.7b08733

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b08733

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