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Inorganic Nanoshell-Stabilized Liquid Metal for Targeted Photonanomedicine in NIR-II Biowindow

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journal contribution
posted on 25.02.2019, 00:00 by Piao Zhu, Shanshan Gao, Han Lin, Xiangyu Lu, Bowen Yang, Linlin Zhang, Yu Chen, Jianlin Shi
Gallium and gallium-based alloys, typical types of liquid metals with unique physiochemical properties, are emerging as a next generation of functional materials in versatile biomedical applications. However, the exploration of their biomedical performance is currently insufficient, and their intrinsic low oxidative resistance is a key factor blocking their further clinical translation. Herein, we report on the surface engineering of liquid metal-based nanoplatforms by an inorganic silica nanoshell based on a novel but facile sonochemical synthesis for highly efficient, targeted, and near-infrared (NIR)-triggered photothermal tumor hyperthermia in the NIR-II biowindow. The inorganic silica-shell engineering of liquid metal significantly enhances the photothermal performance of the liquid metal core as reflected by enhanced NIR absorption, improved photothermal stability by oxidation protection, and abundant surface chemistry for surface-targeted engineering to achieve enhanced tumor accumulation. Systematic in vitro cell-level evaluation and in vivo tumor xenograft assessment demonstrate that (Arg-Gly-Asp) RGD-targeted and silica-coated nanoscale liquid metal substantially induces phototriggered cancer-cell death and photothermal tumor eradication, accompanied by high in vivo biocompatibility and easy excretion out of the body. This work provides the first paradigm for surface-inorganic engineering of liquid metal-based nanoplatforms for achieving multiple desirable therapeutic performances, especially for combating cancer.