Laser Targeting to Nanoparticles for Theranostic Applications

Authored by: James Ramos , Huang-Chiao Huang , Kaushal Rege

Handbook Ofphotomedicine

Print publication date:  October  2013
Online publication date:  October  2013

Print ISBN: 9781439884690
eBook ISBN: 9781439884706
Adobe ISBN:


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In several diseases, including cancer, there is an urgent need for formulating platforms that are capable of (1) detection, (2) treatment, and (3) determination of therapeutic effect (thera-peutic response) of the diseased tissue (Young, Figueroa, and Drezek 2012). Detection involves the specific labeling of malig-nant tissue so that its localization can be differentiated from that of healthy tissue. Following labeling and localization of the malignant tissue, a wide variety of options exist for treating the disease depending on the extent of the disease. One such option is the targeted delivery of a therapeutic payload, including che-motherapeutic drugs or biologicals, for treatment of the disease. In addition to targeted delivery, control of the payload release via an external stimulus, as opposed to passive release, may be desirable in many cases. This doubly ensures that the payload reaches the desired targeted tissue and will only be released in its specific location. Following treatment, determination of the therapeutic effect is also desirable and may be accomplished in a similar way as the initial labeling. The challenge to encompass these needs in a single modality has resulted in a push toward the formulation of theranostic treatment options, wherein a single platform can address multiple or all of these needs. Recent inves-tigations in nanotechnology have made it possible to develop single-platform theranostics options. More specifically, photo-responsive nanoparticles have demonstrated potential as viable theranostic platforms. Light absorption and surface modification properties of these nanoparticles can be exploited for targeting and labeling diseased tissues via multiple imaging modalities. In addition, their ability to absorb specific wavelengths of light has been exploited for photothermal ablation of malignant tis-sue, controlled release of treatment payloads, and combination treatments resulting in synergistic therapeutic options. In this chapter, we will discuss the utility of photoresponsive nanopar-ticles, which possess the ability to absorb laser light, as novel theranostic options for the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

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