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NaCeF4:Gd,Tb Scintillator as an X‑ray Responsive Photosensitizer for Multimodal Imaging-Guided Synchronous Radio/Radiodynamic Therapy

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journal contribution
posted on 08.10.2019, 14:46 by Xiaoyan Zhong, Xianwen Wang, Guiting Zhan, Yong’an Tang, Yuzhu Yao, Ziliang Dong, Linqian Hou, He Zhao, Songjun Zeng, Jun Hu, Liang Cheng, Xiangliang Yang
Photosensitizers (PSs) that are directly responsive to X-ray for radiodynamic therapy (RDT) with desirable imaging abilities have great potential applications in cancer therapy. Herein, the cerium (Ce)-doped NaCeF4:Gd,Tb scintillating nanoparticle (ScNP or scintillator) is first reported. Due to the sensitization effect of the Ce ions, Tb ions can emit fluorescence under X-ray irradiation to trigger X-ray excited fluorescence (XEF). Moreover, Ce and Tb ions can absorb the energy of secondary electrons generated by X-ray to produce reactive oxide species (ROS) for RDT. With the intrinsic absorption of X-ray by lanthanide elements, the NaCeF4:Gd,Tb ScNPs also act as a computed tomography (CT) imaging contrast agent and radiosensitizers for radiotherapy (RT) sensitization synchronously. Most importantly, the transverse relaxation time of Gd3+ ions is shortened due to the doping of Ce and Tb ions, leading to the excellent performance of our ScNPs in T2-weighted MR imaging for the first time. Both in vitro and in vivo studies verify that our synthesized ScNPs have good performance in XEF, CT, and T2-weighted MR imaging, and a synchronous RT/RDT is achieved with significant suppression on tumor progression under X-ray irradiation. Importantly, no systemic toxicity is observed after intravenous injection of ScNPs. Our work highlights that ScNPs have potential in multimodal imaging-guided RT/RDT of deep tumors.