Rodlike Particles of Polydopamine-CdTe Quantum Dots: An Actuator As a Photothermal Agent and Reactive Oxygen Species-Generating Nanoplatform for Cancer Therapy
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Herein, novel rodlike CdTe@MPA-PDA particles based on polydopamine (PDA) loaded with CdTe quantum dots (QDs) capped with mercaptopropionic acid (CdTe@MPA QDs) with atypical chemical features are evaluated as a potential actuator for photothermal therapy and oxidative stress induction. Under mild conditions established for the safe and efficient use of lasers, temperature increases of 10.2 and 7.8 °C, photothermal conversion efficiencies of 37.7 and 26.2%, and specific absorption rates of 99 and 69 W/g were obtained for CdTe@MPA-PDA and traditional PDA particles in water, respectively. The particles were set to interact with the human breast adenocarcinoma cell line MDA-MB-231. A significant cellular uptake with the majority of particles colocalized into the lysosomes was obtained at a concentration of 100 μg/mL after 24 h. Additionally, CdTe@MPA-PDA and CdTe@MPA QDs showed significantly different internalization levels and loading kinetics profiles. For the first time, the thermal lens technique was used to demonstrate the stability of particle-like CdTe@MPA-PDA after heating at pH 7 and their migration within the heating region due to the thermodiffusion effect. However, under acidic pH-type lysosomes, a performance decrease in heating was observed, and the chemical feature of the particles was damaged as well. Besides, the internalized rodlike CdTe@MPA-PDA notably enhanced the induction of oxidative stress compared with PDA alone and CdTe@MPA QDs in MDA-MB-231 cells initiating apoptosis. Combining these effects suggests that after meticulous optimizations of the conditions, the CdTe@MPA-PDA particles could be used as a photothermal agent under mild conditions and short incubation time, allowing cytoplasmatic subcellular localization. On the other hand, the same particles act as cell killers by triggering reactive oxygen species after a longer incubation time and lysosomal subcellular localization due to the pH effect on the chemical morphology features of the CdTe@MPA-PDA particles.
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