|Two-Photon Near-Infrared AIE Luminogens as Multifunctional Gene Carriers for Cancer Theranostics.|
Tang F, Liu JY, Wu CY, Liang YX, Lu ZL, Ding AX, Xu MD.
ACS applied materials & interfaces. 2021; ():
Construction of multifunctional nonviral gene vectors to execute defined tasks holds great potential for the precise and effective treatment of gene-associated diseases. Herein, we have developed four large pi-conjugation triphenylamine derivatives bearing two polar aneN3 heads and a lipophilic tail for applications in gene delivery, one/two-photon-triggered near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence bioimaging, and combined photodynamic therapy (PDT) and gene therapy of cancer. These compounds possess typical NIR aggregation-induced emission characteristics, mega Stokes shifts, strong two-photon excitation fluorescence, and excellent DNA condensation abilities. Among them, vector 4 with a tail of n-hexadecane realized a transfection efficiency as high as 6.7 times that of the commercial transfection agent Lipofectamine 2000 in HEK293T cell lines. Using vector 4 as an example, transfection process tracking and ex vivo/in vivo tumoral imaging and retention with high resolution, high brightness, deep tissue penetration, and good biosafety were demonstrated. In addition, efficient singlet oxygen ((1)O2) generation by the DNA complex formed by vector 4 (4/DNA) resulted in effective PDT. Combined with anticancer gene therapy, collaborative cancer treatment with a dramatically enhanced cancer cell-killing effect was achieved. The development of this "three birds, one stone" approach suggests a new and promising strategy for better cancer treatment and real-time tracking of gene delivery.