Cu-Fe-Se Ternary Nanosheet-Based Drug Delivery Carrier for Multimodal Imaging and Combined Chemo/Photothermal Therapy of Cancer

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2018 Dec 19;10(50):43396-43404. doi: 10.1021/acsami.8b15064. Epub 2018 Dec 4.


Ternary transition-metal chalcogenide nanosheets have shown great potential in diverse applications owing to their intrinsically amazing properties with a broad tunable window. Direct preparation of water-soluble and biocompatible ternary chalcogenide nanosheets for theranostic application remains a challenge. In this article, we prepared Cu-Fe-Se nanosheets (CFS NSs) in an aqueous solution under ambient conditions by a sequential coprecipitation method. They were functionalized with anticancer drug doxorubin (CFS@DOX) through electrostatic interactions and labeled with radioactive isotope 99mTc through surface coordination effect. The resulting nanosheets have a size of 70 nm and a thickness of 5 nm, and can be well dispersed in water, phosphate-buffered saline, 10% fetal bovine serum, and 0.9% NaCl with an excellent colloidal stability. They also exhibit a high photothermal conversion efficiency of 78.9% for in vitro and in vivo photoacoustic imaging and photothermal therapy. The isotope-labeled nanosheets (99mTc-CFS NSs) were used for single photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography imaging to quantify their blood circulation time (∼4.7 h) and biodistributions in major organs, which follow an order of liver > bladder > lung > spleen > heart > kidney. The DOX-functionalized nanosheets (CFS@DOX) were used for chemotherapy of cancer and exhibited excellent anticancer efficacy. Our research shows the great promise of ternary metal chalcogenide nanosheets for combined imaging and therapy of cancer.

Keywords: chemotherapy; multimodal imaging; photothermal therapy; radiolabeling; transition-metal chalcogenides; two-dimensional ternary nanosheets.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic* / chemistry
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic* / pharmacokinetics
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic* / pharmacology
  • Copper / chemistry
  • Copper / pharmacokinetics
  • Copper / pharmacology
  • Doxorubicin* / chemistry
  • Doxorubicin* / pharmacokinetics
  • Doxorubicin* / pharmacology
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Hyperthermia, Induced*
  • Iron / chemistry
  • Iron / pharmacokinetics
  • Iron / pharmacology
  • Metal Nanoparticles* / administration & dosage
  • Metal Nanoparticles* / chemistry
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms, Experimental* / diagnostic imaging
  • Neoplasms, Experimental* / therapy
  • Phototherapy*
  • Selenium / chemistry
  • Selenium / pharmacokinetics
  • Selenium / pharmacology
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon*


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Copper
  • Doxorubicin
  • Iron
  • Selenium