Multifunctional Nanoplatform Based on Black Phosphorus Quantum Dots for Bioimaging and Photodynamic/Photothermal Synergistic Cancer Therapy

A multifunctional nanoplatform based on black phosphorus quantum dots (BPQDs) was developed for cancer bioimaging and combined photothermal therapy (PTT) and photodynamic therapy (PDT). BPQDs were functionalized with PEG chains to achieve improved biocompatibility and physiological stability. The as-prepared nanoparticles exhibite prominent near-infrared (NIR) photothermal and red-light-triggered photodynamic properties. The combined therapeutic application of PEGylated BPQDs were then performed in vitro and in vivo. The results demonstrate that the combined phototherapy significantly promote the therapeutic efficacy of cancer treatment in comparison with PTT or PDT alone. BPQDs could also serve as the loading platform for fluorescent molecules, allowing reliable imaging of cancer cells. In addition, the low cytotoxicity and negligible side effects to main organs were observed in toxicity experiments. The theranostic characteristics of PEGylated BPQDs provide an uplifting potential for the future clinical applications.