Lanthanide-Cyclen-Camptothecin Nanocomposites for Cancer Theranostics Guided by Near-Infrared and Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Yonghong Zhang, Xia Ma, Ho Fai Chau, Waygen Thor, Lijun Jiang, Shuai Zha, Wan Yiu Fok, Ho Nam Mak, Junhui Zhang, Jing Cai, Chi Fai Ng, Hongguang Li, David Parker*, Li Li*, Ga Lai Law*, Ka-Leung Wong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


We have devised a molecular-to-micellar strategy to incorporate a lanthanide nanoplatform for the delivery of an anticancer drug that simultaneously offers hybrid near-infrared (NIR) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) capabilities with defined lanthanide(III) ratio control. This cancer-selective lanthanide-based self-assembled nanocomposite (LnNPs) has been synthesized by conjugating lanthanide-cyclen complexes (cycLn) with a well-known drug-camptothecin (CPT) through a redox-sensitive disulfide bond (-ss-). By accurately controlling the ratio of Gd(III) and Yb(III) complexes, we prepared hybrid nanoparticles (Gd/YbNPs) with both NIR and MR imaging properties. The enhanced stability at ultralow critical aggregation concentrations (CACs), simultaneous optical and MR imaging, improved delivery/chemotherapeutic efficiency, and cancer cell selectivity of such nanomicellar theranostic prodrugs in vitro and in vivo have thus been achieved and validated. The work provides a blueprint combining a stimuli-activated NIR luminescence and real-time MR imaging into a safe and biocompatible nanoplatform for selective cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-278
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Nano Materials
Issue number1
Early online date4 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Materials Science(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • lanthanide
  • multimodal imaging
  • nanocomposite
  • self-assembling prodrug
  • theranostics


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