Research Papers:

Visible-light-sensitive titanium dioxide nanoplatform for tumor-responsive Fe2+ liberating and artemisinin delivery

Huijuan Zhang, Hongling Zhang, Xing Zhu, Xiaoge Zhang, Qianqian Chen, Jianjiao Chen, Lin Hou and Zhenzhong Zhang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:58738-58753. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17639

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Huijuan Zhang1,2,3, Hongling Zhang1,2,3, Xing Zhu1, Xiaoge Zhang1, Qianqian Chen1, Jianjiao Chen1, Lin Hou1,2,3 and Zhenzhong Zhang1,2,3

1School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhengzhou University, Henan Province, Zhengzhou, China

2Key Laboratory of Targeting Therapy and Diagnosis for Critical Diseases, Henan Province, Zhengzhou, China

3Collaborative Innovation Center of New Drug Research and Safety Evaluation, Henan Province, Zhengzhou, China

Correspondence to:

Zhenzhong Zhang, email: [email protected]

Lin Hou, email: [email protected]

Keywords: Fe2+-dependent drug, visible-light-sensitive ROS production, tumor-responsive Fe2+ liberating

Received: October 06, 2016     Accepted: April 16, 2017     Published: May 05, 2017


Artemisinin is a kind of Fe2+-dependent drugs. Artemisinin and Fe2+ co-transport systems can improve its anti-tumor effect. In this study, a visible light-sensitive nanoplatform (HA-TiO2-IONPs/ART) was developed. Detailed investigation demonstrated that HA-TiO2-IONPs/ART could realize Fe2+ and artemisinin synchronous co-delivery and tumor-responsive release. This feature enhanced the anti-tumor efficiency of artemisinin significantly. In vitro results proved that hyaluronic acid modification could improve the biocompatibility, dispersion stability and cytophagy ability of nanocarriers. Furthermore, this drug delivery system could generate reactive oxygen species under visual light irradiation. In vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrated that HA-TiO2-IONPs/ART combining with laser irradiation displayed the best anti-tumor efficacy. This study affords a promising idea to improve the curative efficiency of artemisinin analogs for cancer therapy.

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