Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology, vol.217, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)
Dual phototherapy agents have attracted great interest in recent years as they offer enhanced cytotoxicity on cancer cells due to the synergistic effect of photodynamic and photothermal therapies (PDT/PTT). In this study, we demonstrate a brominated hemicyanine (HC-1), which is previously shown as mitochondria targeting PDT agent, can also serve as an effective photosensitizer for PTT for the first time under a single (640 nm or 808 nm) and dual laser (640 nm + 808 nm) irradiation. Generation of reactive oxygen species and photothermal conversion as a function of irradiation wavelength and power were studied. Both single wavelength irradiations caused significant phototoxicity in colon and cervical cancer cells after 5 min of irradiation. However, co-irradiation provided near-complete elimination of cancer cells due to synergistic action. This work introduces an easily accessible small molecule-based synergistic phototherapy agent, which holds a great promise towards the realization of local, rapid and highly efficient treatment modalities against cancer.