Minimally invasive treatment is getting more and more important in an aging society. The purpose of this study was to explore the possibility of ICG loaded on super carbonate apatite (sCA) nanoparticles as a novel photodynamic therapy (PDT) against cancers. Using colon cancer cells, ICG uptake and anti-tumor effects were examined between the treatments of ICG and sCA-ICG. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and temperature rise were also evaluated to explore the underlying mechanism. Atomic force microscopy revealed that the size of sCA-ICG ranged from 10 to 20 nm. In aqueous solution with 0.5% albumin, the temperature increase after laser irradiation was 27.1C and 23.1C in sCA-ICG and ICG, respectively (control DW: 5.7C). A significant increase in ROS generation was noted in cell cultures treated with sCA-ICG plus irradiation compared with those treated with ICG plus irradiation (P < 0.01). Uptake of ICG in the tumor cells significantly increased in sCA-ICG compared with ICG in vitro and in vivo. The fluorescence signals of ICG in the tumor, liver, and kidney faded away in both treatments by 24 hours. Finally, the HT29 tumors treated with sCA-ICG followed by irradiation exhibited drastic tumor growth retardation (P < 0.01), whereas irradiation of tumors after injection of ICG did not inhibit tumor growth. This study shows that sCA is a useful vehicle for ICG-based PDT. Quick withdrawal of ICG from normal organs is unique to sCA-ICG and contrasts with the other nanoparticles remaining in normal organs for a long time.
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