pH/NIR-responsive semiconducting polymer nanoparticles for highly effective photoacoustic image guided chemo-photothermal synergistic therapy

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Multifunctional drug delivery nanoplatform (PDPP3T@PSNiAA NPs) based on NIR absorbing semiconducting polymer nanoparticles for pH/NIR light-controllably regulated drug release has been successfully prepared. In this strategy, pH/thermal-sensitive multifunctional polymer polystyrene-b-poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylic acid) (PSNiAA) was meticulously designed and synthesized using the reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization method. Furthermore, PSNiAA was used to functionalize diketopyrrolopyrrole-based semiconducting polymer (PDPP3T) to combine photothermal capacity and pH/thermo-responsive drug release in one entity. The prepared PDPP3T@PSNiAA NPs exhibited high photothermal conversion efficiency (η = 34.1%) and excellent photoacoustic (PA) brightness. Meanwhile, benefiting from the photothermal effect of PDPP3T and the pH/thermal-responsive properties of PSNiAA, Dox-loaded PDPP3T@PSNiAA NPs (PDPP3T@PSNiAA-Dox NPs) were able to controllably regulate the release of Dox by pH/NIR light, in which the enhanced drug release at acidic condition upon NIR irradiation phenomenon would minimize unnecessary drug release in normal tissues and was highly beneficial for precise synergistic chemo- and photothermal therapy.

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