PhotothermalPhage: A Virus-Based Photothermal Therapeutic Agent

06 September 2021, Version 3


ABSTRACT: Virus-like particles (VLPs) are multifunctional nanocarriers that mimic the architecture of viruses. They can serve as a safe platform for specific functionalization and immunization, which provides benefits in a wide range of biomedical applications. In this work, a new generation immunophotothermal agent is developed that adjuvants photothermal ablation using a chemically modified VLP called bacteriophage Qβ. The design is based on the conjugation of near-infrared absorbing croconium dyes to lysine residues located on the surface of Qβ, which turns it to a powerful NIR-absorber called Photothermal Phage. This system can generate more heat upon 808 nm NIR laser radiation than free dye and possesses a photothermal efficiency comparable to gold nanostructures, yet it is biodegradable and acts as an immunoadjuvant combined with the heat it produces. The synergistic combination of thermal ablation with the mild immunogenicity of the VLP leads to effective suppression of primary tumors, reduced lung metastasis, and increased survival time.


photothermal agents
photothermal antenna
VLP assembly
Virus-Like Particles

Supplementary materials

Electronic supporting information
The supporting information for the main text


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