Near infrared fluorescent peptide nanoparticles for enhancing esophageal cancer therapeutic efficacy

Zhen Fan, Yan Chang, Chaochu Cui, Leming Sun, David H. Wang, Zui Pan, Mingjun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Various types of nanoparticles have been proposed for targeted drug delivering, imaging, and tracking of therapeutic agents. However, highly biocompatible nanoparticles with structure-induced fluorescence and capability to conjugate with biomarkers and drugs remain lacking. This research proposes and synthesizes fluorescent nanoparticles (f-PNPs) assembled by cyclic peptides to combine imaging and drug delivering for esophageal cancer (EC). To achieve tumor targeting, f-PNPs are first conjugated with RGD moieties to selectively target EC cells via αvβ3 integrin; the nanoparticles are then embedded with epirubicin (EPI). Cell viability assays and analysis of tissue histology reveal that EPI-loaded RGD-f-PNPs (RGD-f-PNPs/EPI) led to significantly reduced cardiotoxicity and improved anti-tumor activity compared to EPI alone. Moreover, the drug delivery to tumor sites and therapeutic responses could be monitored with near-infrared fluorescence using RGD-f-PNPs/EPI. This unique nanoparticle system may lead to potential approaches for bioorganic fluorescence-based delivering, imaging, and drug release tracking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2605
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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