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Red Blood Cell-Mimicking Micromotor for Active Photodynamic Cancer Therapy

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posted on 2019-06-05, 00:00 authored by Changyong Gao, Zhihua Lin, Daolin Wang, Zhiguang Wu, Hui Xie, Qiang He
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a promising cancer therapeutic strategy, which typically kills cancer cells through converting nontoxic oxygen into reactive oxygen species using photosensitizers (PSs). However, the existing PDTs are still limited by the tumor hypoxia and poor targeted accumulation of PSs. To address these challenges, we here report an acoustically powered and magnetically navigated red blood cell-mimicking (RBCM) micromotor capable of actively transporting oxygen and PS for enhanced PDT. The RBCM micromotors consist of biconcave RBC-shaped magnetic hemoglobin cores encapsulating PSs and natural RBC membrane shells. Upon exposure to an acoustic field, they are able to move in biological media at a speed of up to 56.5 μm s–1 (28.2 body lengths s–1). The direction of these RBCM micromotors can be navigated using an external magnetic field. Moreover, RBCM micromotors can not only avoid the serum fouling during the movement toward the targeted cancer cells but also possess considerable oxygen- and PS-carrying capacity. Such fuel-free RBCM micromotors provide a new approach for efficient and rapid active delivery of oxygen and PSs in a biofriendly manner for future PDT.