Engineered porphyrin loaded core-shell nanoparticles for selective sonodynamic anticancer treatment

Greta Varchi, Federica Foglietta, Roberto Canaparo, Marco Ballestri, Francesca Arena, Giovanna Sotgiu, Andrea Guerrini, Cristina Nanni, Gianfranco Cicoria, Giancarlo Cravotto, Stefano Fanti, Loredana Serpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Aim: Porphyrin-loaded core-shell nanoparticles have been engineered for use as in vivo sonosensitizing systems, radio-tracers or magnetic resonance (MR) imaging agents, which may be suitable for the selective treatment of solid tumors and imaging analyses. Materials & methods: Polymethyl methacrylate nanoparticles (PMMANPs) have been either loaded with meso-tetrakis (4-sulphonatophenyl) porphyrin (TPPS) for sonodynamic anticancer treatment, with 64Cu-TPPS for positron emission tomography biodistribution studies or with Mn(III)-TPPS for MR tumor accumulation evaluation. Results: PMMANPs are easily functionalized with negatively charged molecules and show favorable biodistribution. In vivo TPPS-PMMANPs have demonstrated shock wave responsiveness in a Mat B III syngeneic rat breast cancer model as measured by MR analyses of pre-and post-treatment tumor volumes. Conclusion: TPPS-PMMANPs are a multimodal system which can efficiently induce in vivo sonodynamic anticancer activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3483-3494
Number of pages12
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2015


  • acoustic cavitation
  • cancer
  • polymethyl methacrylate nanoparticles
  • porphyrin
  • reactive oxygen species
  • shock waves
  • sonodynamic therapy
  • sonosensitizer
  • theranostics
  • therapeutic ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)


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