Platelets have unique properties that can be used in a variety of clinical settings. Their ability to target and accumulate in the lung cancer microenvironment can be exploited as a therapeutic targeted delivery method. In this study, we developed a drug-free biomimetic platelet-polyethyleneimine polypyrrole (PLT-PEI-PPY) conjugate that expresses epidermal growth factor (EGF) as a novel receptor-mediated material for efficient photothermal near-infrared (NIR) irradiation-hyperthermia and lung tumor ablation therapy. A neutral charge, photothermal response, and serum stability were discovered to be unique physiochemical features of this material. The PLT-PEI-PPY nanoparticles selectively aggregated in lung cancer cells in vitro and in vivo and had an anticancer impact via EGF receptor-mediated cancer cell endocytosis. In vivo, systemic injection of the platelet-PPY nanomaterial into mice was found to be safe and could fool the innate macrophage recognition system allowing to extend the residence time, and to improve the distribution to lung tumor tissues and the photothermal therapeutic efficacy under NIR illumination. By attaching photothermally responsive PEI-PPY nanoparticles to platelet membranes and exposing them to NIR irradiation, targeted ablation of lung malignancies was made possible. This nanoformulation, free of hazardous anticancer drugs, demonstrated a safer and more-effective bio-inspired photothermal-driven ablation therapy for lung cancer.
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