Prussian blue coated gold nanoparticles for simultaneous photoacoustic/CT bimodal imaging and photothermal ablation of cancer

Lijia Jing, Xiaolong Liang, Zijian Deng, Shanshan Feng, Xiaoda Li, Maomao Huang, Changhui Li, Zhifei Dai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

244 Scopus citations


The combination of CT imaging and photoacoustic (PA) imaging represents not only high resolution and ease of forming 3D visual image for locating tissues of interest, but also good soft tissue contrast and excellent high sensitivity, which is very beneficial to the precise guidance for photothermal therapy (PTT). The near infrared (NIR) absorbing Au nanostructures take advantages to operate as a CT contrast agent due to high absorption coefficient of X-ray and outstanding biocompatibility, but show obvious deficiency for PA imaging and PTT because of low photostability. Attacking this problem head on, the Au nanoparticles (NPs) were coated with Prussian blue (PB) which is a typical FDA-approved drug in clinic for safe and effective treatment of radioactive exposure. The obtained core/shell NPs of Au@PB NPs of 17.8±2.3nm were found to be an excellent photoabsorbing agent for both PTT and PA imaging due to high photostability and high molar extinction coefficient in NIR region. Their gold core of 9.1±0.64nm ensured a remarkable contrast enhancement for CT imaging. Through a one-time treatment of NIR laser irradiation after intravenous injection of Au@PB NPs, 100 mm3 sized tumors in nude mice could be completely ablated without recurrence. Such versatile nanoparticles integrating effective cancer diagnosis with noninvasive therapy might bring opportunities to future cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5814-5821
Number of pages8
Issue number22
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Au nanoparticles
  • Photoacoustic imaging
  • Photothermal therapy
  • Prussian blue
  • X-ray computed tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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