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    Near-infrared (NIR)-induced dye-based theranostic drug delivery carriers are used for critical image-guided chemo-photothermal cancer therapy. However, most carriers fail to deliver sufficient heat and fluorescence efficiently due to direct π-π stacking of the aromatic rings of the NIR dye and drug. In the work reported herein, we examined a self-assembled heptamethine cyanine dye dimer (CyD) with improved heat and fluorescence delivery that was developed by manipulating the unique structural and optical properties of the dimer. The H-aggregation of CyD in an aqueous solution generated a great amount of heat by transforming the energy of the excited electrons into non-radiative energy. Moreover, the disulfide bond of CyD assisted nanoparticles with a drug by minimizing the interaction between the NIR dye and drug, and also by releasing the drug in a redox environment. As a result, DOX encapsulated within CyD (CyD/DOX) showed strong heat generation and fluorescence imaging in tumor-bearing mice, allowing detection of the tumor site and inhibition of tumor growth by chemo-photothermal therapy. The multiplicity of features supplied by the newly developed CyD demonstrated the potential of CyD/DOX as an NIR dye-based theranostic drug-delivery carrier for effective chemo-photothermal cancer therapy. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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    Chanuk Jeong, Saji Uthaman, Babak Bagheri, Juwhan Kim, Shameer Pillarisetti, In-Kyu Park, Yeu-Chun Kim. Self-assembled heptamethine cyanine dye dimer as a novel theranostic drug delivery carrier for effective image-guided chemo-photothermal cancer therapy. Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society. 2021 Jan 10;329:50-62

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    PMID: 33259849

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