Indocyanine green potentiated paclitaxel nanoprodrugs for imaging and chemotherapy

Clinically approved indocyanine green (ICG) is utilized to develop simple prodrug nanoformulations. The ICG-driven assembly strategy endows paclitaxel prodrugs improved assembled behavior and enhanced colloidal stability, and the developed nanoparticles possess tumor-specific imaging and chemotherapy with in vivo therapeutic feedback.


Self-assembled prodrug nanoparticles with tumor-responsive capacity have great potential in tumor visualization and treatment. However, the nanoparticle formulas usually contain multiple components, especially polymeric materials, which result in various potential issues. Herein, we report an indocyanine green (ICG)-driven assembly of paclitaxel prodrugs integrating near-infrared fluorescence imaging and tumor-specific chemotherapy. By feat of the hydrophilic merit of ICG, paclitaxel dimer could form more uniformly monodispersed nanoparticles. This two-in-one strategy reinforces the complementary advantages, resulting in superior assembly behavior, robust colloidal stability, enhanced tumor accumulation as well as desirable near-infrared imaging and in vivo feedback of chemotherapy. The in vivo experiments validated the prodrug activation at tumor sites as evidenced by enhanced fluorescence intensity, potent tumor growth suppression, and reduced systemic toxicity compared with commercial Taxol. The universality of ICG potentiated strategy toward photosensitizers and fluorescence dyes was confirmed. This presentation provides deep insight into the feasibility of constructing clinical-close alternatives for improving antitumor efficacy.

Author list:

Xiujuan Xiang, Xuan Feng, Shaojin Lu, Bowen Jiang, Dengyuan Hao, Qing Pei*, Zhigang Xie*, Xiabin Jing

How to cite:

X. Xiang, X. Feng, S. Lu, B. Jiang, D. Hao, Q. Pei, Z. Xie, X. Jing, Exploration 2022, 2, 20220008.