Theranostic nanobubble encapsulating a plasmon-enhanced upconversion hybrid nanosystem for cancer therapy

Wen Tse Huang, Ming Hsien Chan, Xueyuan Chen, Michael Hsiao*, Ru Shi Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Nanobubble (NB), which simultaneously enhances ultrasound (US) images and access therapeutic platforms, is required for future cancer treatment. Methods: We designed a theranostic agent for novel cancer treatment by using an NB-encapsulated hybrid nanosystem that can be monitored by US and fluorescent imaging and activated by near-infrared (NIR) light. The nanosystem was transported to the tumor through the enhanced permeability and retention effect. The hybrid nanosystem comprised upconversion nanoparticle (UCNP) and mesoporous silica-coated gold nanorod (AuNR@mS) with the photosensitizer merocyanine 540 to realize dual phototherapy. Results: With the NIR light-triggered, the luminous intensity of the UCNP was enhanced by doping holmium ion and emitted visible green and red lights at 540 and 660 nm. The high optical density state between the UCNP and AuNR@mS can induce plasmonic enhancement to improve the photothermal and photodynamic effects, resulting in cell death by apoptosis. The nanosystem showed excellent stability to avoid the aggregation of nanoparticles during the treatment. JC-1 dye was used as an indicator of mitochondrial membrane potential to identify the mechanism of cell death. The results of in vitro and in vivo analyses confirmed the curative effect of improved dual phototherapy. Conclusion: We developed and showed the therapeutic functions of a novel nanosystem with the combination of multiple theranostic nanoplatforms that can be triggered and activated by 808 nm NIR laser and US.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)782-796
Number of pages15
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020


  • Cancer theranostics
  • Dual-model phototherapy
  • Near-infrared
  • Plasmonic enhancement
  • Upconversion hybrid nanosystem


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