Natural Killer Cell Inspired AIE Nanoterminator for Blood-Brain-Barrier Crossing via Tight-Junction Modulation and NIR-II Gliomas Theranostics

Nature has always inspired robotic designs and concepts. It is conceivable that biomimic nanorobots will soon play a prominent role in medicine. In this paper, we developed a natural killer cell-mimic AIE nanoterminator (NK@AIEdots) by coating natural kill cell membrane on the AIE-active polymeric endoskeleton, PBPTV, a highly bright NIR-II AIE-active conjugated polymer. Owning to the AIE and soft-matter characteristics of PBPTV, as-prepared nanoterminator maintained the superior NIR-II brightness (quantum yield ~8%) and good biocompatibility. Besides, they could serve as tight junctions (TJs) modulator to trigger an intracellular signaling cascade, causing TJs disruption and actin cytoskeleton reorganization to form intercellular “green channel” to help themselves crossing Blood-Brain Barriers (BBB) silently. Furthermore, they could initiatively accumulate to glioblastoma cells in the complex brain matrix for high-contrast and through-skull tumor imaging. The tumor growth was also greatly inhibited by these nanoterminator under the NIR light illumination. As far as we known, The QY of PBPTV is the highest among the existing NIR-II luminescent conjugated polymers. Besides, the NK-cell biomimetic nanorobots will open new avenue for BBB-crossing delivery.