Cell-Penetrating Peptide Enhanced Intracellular Raman Imaging and Photodynamic Therapy
2013-06-03T00:00:00Z (GMT) by
We present the application of a theranostic system combining Raman imaging and the photodynamic therapy (PDT) effect. The theranostic nanoplatform was created by loading the photosensitizer, protoporphyrin IX, onto a Raman-labeled gold nanostar. A cell-penetrating peptide, TAT, enhanced intracellular accumulation of the nanoparticles in order to improve their delivery and efficacy. The plasmonic gold nanostar platform was designed to increase the Raman signal via the surface-enhanced resonance Raman scattering (SERRS) effect. Theranostic SERS imaging and photodynamic therapy using this construct were demonstrated on BT-549 breast cancer cells. The TAT peptide allowed for effective Raman imaging and photosensitization with the nanoparticle construct after a 1 h incubation period. In the absence of the TAT peptide, nanoparticle accumulation in the cells was not sufficient to be observed by Raman imaging or to produce any photosensitization effect after this short incubation period. There was no cytotoxic effect observed after nanoparticle incubation, prior to light activation of the photosensitizer. This report shows the first application of combined SERS imaging and photosensitization from a theranostic nanoparticle construct.