Multifunctional ultrasmall nanoplatforms for vascular-targeted interstitial photodynamic therapy of brain tumors guided by real-time MRI

Nanomedicine. 2015 Apr;11(3):657-70. doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2014.12.007. Epub 2015 Jan 31.


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) for brain tumors appears to be complementary to conventional treatments. A number of studies show the major role of the vascular effect in the tumor eradication by PDT. For interstitial PDT (iPDT) of brain tumors guided by real-time imaging, multifunctional nanoparticles consisting of a surface-localized tumor vasculature targeting neuropilin-1 (NRP-1) peptide and encapsulated photosensitizer and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents, have been designed. Nanoplatforms confer photosensitivity to cells and demonstrate a molecular affinity to NRP-1. Intravenous injection into rats bearing intracranial glioma exhibited a dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI for angiogenic endothelial cells lining the neovessels mainly located in the peripheral tumor. By using MRI completed by NRP-1 protein expression of the tumor and brain adjacent to tumor tissues, we checked the selectivity of the nanoparticles. This study represents the first in vivo proof of concept of closed-head iPDT guided by real-time MRI using targeted ultrasmall nanoplatforms. From the clinical editor: The authors constructed tumor vascular peptide targeting multifunctional silica-based nanoparticles, with encapsulated gadolinium oxide as MRI contrast agent and chlorin as a photosensitizer, as a proof of concept novel treatment for glioblastoma in an animal model.

Keywords: Brain tumor; Multifunctional nanoplatforms; Real-time MRI; Targeting; iPDT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Female
  • Glioma* / diagnostic imaging
  • Glioma* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography*
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Nanoparticles / therapeutic use
  • Neuropilin-1 / chemistry
  • Neuropilin-1 / therapeutic use
  • Photochemotherapy / methods*
  • Photosensitizing Agents* / chemistry
  • Photosensitizing Agents* / pharmacology
  • Radiography
  • Rats
  • Rats, Nude


  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • Neuropilin-1