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Research articles

ScienceAsia 49 (2023):ID 627-634 |doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.2023.060

Carbon quantum dots as drug carriers for tumor-associated macrophage repolarization following photothermal therapy

Haizhong Yuana,?, Hui Yangb,?, Pin Yuanc, Tingting Wangd, Quan Zhouc,*

ABSTRACT:     With the development of nanotechnology in the anticancer application, photothermal therapy (PTT) based on nanoparticles (NPs) could repolarize the tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) from protumor (M2) phenotype to antitumor (M1) phenotype, thus regulating the tumor-suppressive immune environment. However, the inevitable local inflammation occurred in the residual tumor microenvironment after PTT recruited abundant abnormal TAMs to induce immune escape and survival of the remaining tumor cells. Here, TMP195 loaded carbon quantum dots (CQDs@TMP195) were developed as innovative nanoplatforms to achieve promising PTT and immune responses. In the nanoplatforms, CQDs with distinct antitumor performance were applied as an ideal drug-loading nanocarrier and initiated photothermal effects to generate heat under near-infrared (NIR) irradiation. The loaded TMP195 could repolarize the M2 phenotype TAMs into the M1 phenotype TAMs. Based on our work, the in vitro antitumor effects implied that CQDs@TMP195 could significantly kill cancer cells with minimal toxicity to normal cells. This study proposes a feasible therapeutic strategy for polarizing TAMs to the immunocompetent M1 phenotype after PTT.

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a Pharmacy Department of PKU Care Lu?an Hospital, Shanxi 046204 China
b Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Changzhi Medical College, Shanxi 046000 China
c Nanjing Jiatong Micro-nano Technology Co., Ltd., Jiangsu 210000 China
d Nanjing Seth Technology Service Co., Ltd., Jiangsu 210043 China

* Corresponding author, E-mail: 2262691619@qq.com

Received 25 Nov 2022, Accepted 23 May 2023