Self-assembled hemoglobin nanoparticles for improved oral photosensitizer delivery and oral photothermal therapy in vivo

Kaikai Wang, Gang Chen, Qi Hu, Yuqian Zhen, Huipeng Li, Jiao Chen, Bin Di, Yiqiao Hu, Minjie Sun, David Oupický

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Aim: The aim of the present study was to use hemoglobin (Hb) nanoparticles (NPs) to improve oral bioavailability of a near-infrared dye IR780 for in vivo antitumor application in photothermal therapy. Methods: One-step acid-denaturing method was used to encapsulate IR780 into self-assembled Hb NPs (IR780@Hb NPs). Pharmacokinetics, biodistribution and antitumor effect were studied in vivo. Results: The Hb NPs showed high stability in enzymatic and acidic conditions similar to the gastric environment, and enhanced absorption of IR780 into the blood. In vivo imaging revealed that IR780 could accumulate at the tumor sites and effectively caused photothermal effect, which resulted in tumor ablation after oral administration in tumor-bearing mice. Conclusion: Hb NPs represent a promising delivery system for improving oral absorption of photosensitizer dyes, which could open new treatment modalities in cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1043-1055
Number of pages13
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 2017



  • IR780
  • hemoglobin
  • oral-photothermal therapy
  • protein nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)

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