ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2021 Mar 26. doi: 10.1021/acsami.0c23073. Online ahead of print.
Multidrug resistance (MDR) is identified as a major impediment to the efficient chemotherapy of cancer, and considerable endeavors have been devoted to reverse MDR containing structuring varieties of multifunctional nanocarriers. Here, a specially light-activated hollow mesoporous silica nanocontainer with an in situ-synthesized Au nanorod (AuNR) core and a surface-modified hairpin structure DNA gatekeeper is reported for treating MDR tumor cells. In this system, the AuNR only fills part of the space in hollow mesoporous silica due to its controllable size, and the remaining space is used to load enough DOX. By controlling the near-infrared (NIR) laser intensity and exposure duration, the configuration of hairpin-structured DNA (Tm = 51.4 °C) can change reversibly and then trigger the controllable intracellular release of DOX, leading to a significantly enhanced chemotherapeutic efficacy and adjustable photothermal treatment for multidrug-resistant cancer cells. The in vitro experiments showed that this system could effectively overcome the MDR of HepG2-adm cells (a MDR cell line of human hepatocarcinoma cells) by the increased concentration of DOX intracellularly and the photothermal conversion of AuNRs, even at a low concentration (e.g., 30 μg mL-1). Therefore, this NIR-triggered chemo-photothermal synergistic treatment system can be used as a promising efficient strategy in reversing the multidrug resistance for cancer therapy.