Photoactivatable Surface-Functionalized Diatom Microalgae for Colorectal Cancer Targeted Delivery and Enhanced Cytotoxicity of Anticancer Complexes

Design, synthesis and characterization of a bio-inspired hybrid multifunctional drug delivery system based on diatom microalgae. The microalgae’s surface was chemically functionalized with hybrid vitamin B12-photoactivable molecules and the materials further loaded with highly active rhenium(I) tricarbonyl anticancer complexes. The constructs showed enhanced adherence to colorectal cancer (CRC) cells via transcobalamin (II) receptors and slow release of the chemotherapeutic drugs. The overall toxicity of the hybrid multifunctional drug delivery system was further enhanced by photoactivation of the microalgae surface. Depending on the construct and anticancer drug, a 2-fold increase in the cytotoxic efficacy of the drug was observed upon light irradiation.