The electronic, optical, and redox properties of thiophene-based materials have made them pivotal in nanoscience and nanotechnology. However, the exploitation of oligothiophenes in photodynamic therapy is hindered by their intrinsic hydrophobicity that lowers their biocompatibility and availability in water environments. Here, we developed human serum albumin (HSA)-oligothiophene bioconjugates that afford the use of insoluble oligothiophenes in physiological environments. UV-vis and electrophoresis proved the conjugation of the oligothiophene sensitizers to the protein. The bioconjugate is water-soluble and biocompatible, does not have any "dark toxicity", and preserves HSA in the physiological monomeric form, as confirmed by dynamic light scattering and circular dichroism measurements. In contrast, upon irradiation with ultralow light doses, the bioconjugate efficiently produces reactive oxygen species (ROS) and leads to the complete eradication of cancer cells. Real-time monitoring of the photokilling activity of the HSA-oligothiophene bioconjugate shows that living cells "explode" upon irradiation. Photodependent and dose-dependent apoptosis is one of the primary mechanisms of cell death activated by bioconjugate irradiation. The bioconjugate is a novel theranostic platform able to generate ROS intracellularly and provide imaging through the fluorescence of the oligothiophene. It is also a real-time self-reporting system able to monitor the apoptotic process. The induced phototoxicity is strongly confined to the irradiated region, showing localized killing of cancer cells by precise light activation of the bioconjugate.

Human Serum Albumin-Oligothiophene Bioconjugate: A Phototheranostic Platform for Localized Killing of Cancer Cells by Precise Light Activation

Cantelli, A;Malferrari, M;Mattioli, EJ;Zerbetto, F;Zanelli, A;Di Giosia, M;Rapino, S
;
Calvaresi, M
2021

Abstract

The electronic, optical, and redox properties of thiophene-based materials have made them pivotal in nanoscience and nanotechnology. However, the exploitation of oligothiophenes in photodynamic therapy is hindered by their intrinsic hydrophobicity that lowers their biocompatibility and availability in water environments. Here, we developed human serum albumin (HSA)-oligothiophene bioconjugates that afford the use of insoluble oligothiophenes in physiological environments. UV-vis and electrophoresis proved the conjugation of the oligothiophene sensitizers to the protein. The bioconjugate is water-soluble and biocompatible, does not have any "dark toxicity", and preserves HSA in the physiological monomeric form, as confirmed by dynamic light scattering and circular dichroism measurements. In contrast, upon irradiation with ultralow light doses, the bioconjugate efficiently produces reactive oxygen species (ROS) and leads to the complete eradication of cancer cells. Real-time monitoring of the photokilling activity of the HSA-oligothiophene bioconjugate shows that living cells "explode" upon irradiation. Photodependent and dose-dependent apoptosis is one of the primary mechanisms of cell death activated by bioconjugate irradiation. The bioconjugate is a novel theranostic platform able to generate ROS intracellularly and provide imaging through the fluorescence of the oligothiophene. It is also a real-time self-reporting system able to monitor the apoptotic process. The induced phototoxicity is strongly confined to the irradiated region, showing localized killing of cancer cells by precise light activation of the bioconjugate.
Cantelli, A; Malferrari, M; Solda, A; Simonetti, G; Forni, S; Toscanella, E; Mattioli, EJ; Zerbetto, F; Zanelli, A; Di Giosia, M; Zangoli, M; Barbarella, G; Rapino, S; Di Maria, F; Calvaresi, M
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/849492
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