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Research Article

One-step nanoarchitectonics of a multiple functional hydrogel based on cellulose nanocrystals for effective tumor therapy

Tianxing Chen1,2,§Tengteng Yao2,3,§Hui Pan1Hui Peng4Andrew K. Whittaker4Yao Li1Shenmin Zhu1( )Zhaoyang Wang2( )
State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
Department of Ophthalmology, Shanghai Tenth People’s Hospital, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
Department of Ophthalmology, Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200011, China
Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology and ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia

§ Tianxing Chen and Tengteng Yao contributed equally to this work.

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Graphical Abstract

A simple and elegant design was developed for the preparation of injectable hydrogels with simultaneous photothermal therapy (PTT), photodynamic therapy (PDT), and chemodynamic therapy (CDT) under single 660 nm irradiation. A simple Schiff base reaction occurred between aldehyde groups from modified cellulose nanocrystals (mCNCs) and mCNC/Fe3O4 and amido groups on the surface of carbon dots (CDs), resulting in the hydrogel mCNC/Fe3O4@CD. This method will provide new inspiration for design and preparation of advanced biomaterials with multiple functions for cancer therapy.

Abstract

Hypoxia is a huge barrier for the development of photodynamic therapy (PDT). Chemodynamic therapy (CDT) could provide a possible solution to this dilemma. In this work, a controlled Schiff-base reaction was conducted between amido groups on the surface of carbon dots (CDs) and aldehyde groups on aldehyde-modified cellulose nanocrystals (mCNCs) as well as aldehyde-mCNCs decorated with Fe3O4 nanoparticles. In this process, the mCNCs not only prevent the agglomeration of Fe3O4 but also form hydrogels with CDs. The CDs act as both photothermal agent and photosensitizer. The hypoxia could be effectively relieved through the Fenton reaction due to the addition of Fe3O4, and the ·OH produced in the reaction further induces CDT and enhances tumor therapy efficiency. The therapy performance was further verified through in vitro cell experiments and in vivo animal experiments. This convenient method provides inspirations for the design and preparation of advanced biomaterials with multiple functions for cancer therapy.

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Nano Research
Pages 8636-8647
Cite this article:
Chen T, Yao T, Pan H, et al. One-step nanoarchitectonics of a multiple functional hydrogel based on cellulose nanocrystals for effective tumor therapy. Nano Research, 2022, 15(9): 8636-8647. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-022-4455-7
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Received: 10 March 2022
Revised: 16 April 2022
Accepted: 20 April 2022
Published: 14 June 2022
© Tsinghua University Press 2022
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