Fullerenes are considered excellent photosensitizers, being highly suitable for photodynamic therapy (PDT). A lack of water solubility and low biocompatibility are, in many instances, still hampering the full exploitation of their potential in nanomedicine. Here, we used human serum albumin (HSA) to disperse fullerenes by binding up to five fullerene cages inside the hydrophobic cavities. Albumin was bioconjugated with folic acid to specifically address the folate receptors that are usually overexpressed in several solid tumors. Concurrently, tetramethylrhodamine isothiocyanate, TRITC, a tag for imaging, was conjugated to C-60@HSA in order to build an effective phototheranostic platform. The in vitro experiments demonstrated that: (i) HSA disperses C-60 molecules in a physiological environment, (ii) HSA, upon C-60 binding, maintains its biological identity and biocompatibility, (iii) the C-60@HSA complex shows a significant visible-light-induced production of reactive oxygen species, and (iv) folate bioconjugation improves both the internalization and the PDT-induced phototoxicity of the C-60@HSA complex in HeLa cells.

Enhanced Uptake and Phototoxicity of C60@albumin Hybrids by Folate Bioconjugation

Cantelli, Andrea;Malferrari, Marco;Mattioli, Edoardo Jun;Marconi, Alessia;Marforio, Tainah Dorina;Zerbetto, Francesco;Rapino, Stefania
;
Di Giosia, Matteo
;
Calvaresi, Matteo
2022

Abstract

Fullerenes are considered excellent photosensitizers, being highly suitable for photodynamic therapy (PDT). A lack of water solubility and low biocompatibility are, in many instances, still hampering the full exploitation of their potential in nanomedicine. Here, we used human serum albumin (HSA) to disperse fullerenes by binding up to five fullerene cages inside the hydrophobic cavities. Albumin was bioconjugated with folic acid to specifically address the folate receptors that are usually overexpressed in several solid tumors. Concurrently, tetramethylrhodamine isothiocyanate, TRITC, a tag for imaging, was conjugated to C-60@HSA in order to build an effective phototheranostic platform. The in vitro experiments demonstrated that: (i) HSA disperses C-60 molecules in a physiological environment, (ii) HSA, upon C-60 binding, maintains its biological identity and biocompatibility, (iii) the C-60@HSA complex shows a significant visible-light-induced production of reactive oxygen species, and (iv) folate bioconjugation improves both the internalization and the PDT-induced phototoxicity of the C-60@HSA complex in HeLa cells.
Cantelli, Andrea; Malferrari, Marco; Mattioli, Edoardo Jun; Marconi, Alessia; Mirra, Giulia; Soldà, Alice; Marforio, Tainah Dorina; Zerbetto, Francesco; Rapino, Stefania; Di Giosia, Matteo; Calvaresi, Matteo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/899235
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