Erythrocyte-derived photo-theranostic agents: hybrid nano-vesicles containing indocyanine green for near infrared imaging and therapeutic applications
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1038/srep02180
Development of theranostic nano-constructs may enable diagnosis and treatment of diseases at high spatial resolution. Some key requirements for clinical translation of such constructs are that they must be non-toxic, non-immunogenic, biodegradable, with extended circulating lifetime. Cell-based structures, particularly those derived from erythrocytes, are promising candidate carrier systems to satisfy these requirements. One particular type of theranostic materials utilize light-sensitive agents that once photo-activated can provide diagnostic imaging capability, and elicit therapeutic effects. Here we demonstrate the first successful engineering of hybrid nano-scale constructs derived from membranes of hemoglobin-depleted erythrocytes that encapsulate the near infrared chromophore, indocyanine green. We show the utility of the constructs as photo-theranostic agents in fluorescence imaging and photothermal destruction of human cells. These erythrocyte-mimicking nano-structures can be derived autologously, and may have broad applications in personal nanomedicine ranging from imaging and photo-destruction of cancerous tissues to vascular abnormalities, and longitudinal evaluations of therapeutic interventions.