Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an effective anticancer procedure that relies on tumor localization of a photosensitizer followed by light activation to generate cytotoxic reactive oxygen species. We recently reported the rational design of a Hf-porphyrin nanoscale metal-organic framework, DBP-UiO, as an exceptionally effective photosensitizer for PDT of resistant head and neck cancer. DBP-UiO efficiently generates singlet oxygen owing to site isolation of porphyrin ligands, enhanced intersystem crossing by heavy Hf centers, and facile singlet oxygen diffusion through porous DBP-UiO nanoplates. Consequently, DBP-UiO displayed greatly enhanced PDT efficacy both in vitro and in vivo, leading to complete tumor eradication in half of the mice receiving a single DBP-UiO dose and a single light exposure.
The photophysical properties of DBP-UiO are however not optimum with the lowest energy absorption at 634 nm and a relatively small extinction coefficient of 2200 M-1·cm-1. We recently designed a chlorin-based NMOF, DBC-UiO, with much improved photophysical properties and PDT efficacy in two colon cancer mouse models. Reduction of the DBP ligands in DBP-UiO to the DBC ligands in DBC-UiO led to a 13 nm red-shift and an 11-fold extinction coefficient increase of the lowest energy Q-band. While inheriting the crystallinity, stability, porosity, and nanoplate morphology of DBP-UiO, DBC-UiO sensitizes more efficient singlet oxygen generation and exhibits much enhanced photodynamic therapy (PDT) efficacy on two colon cancer mouse models as a result of its improved photophysical properties. Both apoptosis and immunogenic cell death contributed to cancer cell-killing in DBC-UiO induced PDT. Our work has thus demonstrated that NMOFs represent a new class of highly potent PDT agents and hold great promise in treating resistant cancers in the clinic.
Wenbin Lin, "Nanoscale metal-organic frameworks for photodynamic therapy and cancer immunotherapy (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10047, Optical Methods for Tumor Treatment and Detection: Mechanisms and Techniques in Photodynamic Therapy XXVI, 100470F (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 29, 2017; Published: 19 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2261217.5370262162001.
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