Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) are known to have great potential for biomedical applications such as photothermal ablation of tumor cells in combination with near-infrared (NIR) irradiation. In this study, the photothermal activity of a novel SWCNTs composite with a designed peptide having a repeated structure of H-(-Lys-Phe-Lys-Ala-)7-OH [(KFKA)7] against tumor cells was evaluated in vitro and in vivo. The SWCNT-(KFKA)7 composite demonstrated high aqueous dispersibility that enabled SWCNTs to be used in tumor ablation. The NIR irradiation of SWCNT-(KFKA)7 solution resulted in a rapid temperature increase dependent on the SWCNTs concentration up to 50μg/ml. Three minutes of NIR irradiation of a colon 26 or HepG2 cell culture incubated with SWCNT-(KFKA)7 resulted in remarkable cell damage, while that by single treatment with SWCNT-(KFKA)7 or NIR irradiation alone was moderate. The intratumoral injection of SWCNT-(KFKA)7 solution followed by NIR irradiation resulted in a rapid increase of the temperature to 43°C in the subcutaneously inoculated colon 26 tumor based on thermographic observation and remarkable suppression of tumor growth compared with treatment with only SWCNT-(KFKA)7 injection alone or NIR irradiation alone. These results suggest the a great potential of an SWCNT-peptide composite for use in photothermal cancer therapy.
Keywords: Aqueous dispersibility; Near-infrared laser irradiation; Photothermal cancer therapy; Single-walled carbon nanotube; Single-walled carbon nanotube–peptide composite; Tumor ablation.
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