Transient Mild Photothermia Improves Therapeutic Performance of Oral Nanomedicines with Enhanced Accumulation in the Colitis Mucosa

Ya Ma, Shuangquan Gou, Zhenhua Zhu, Jianfeng Sun, Mohammad Ali Shahbazi, Tieyan Si, Cheng Xu, Jinlong Ru, Xiaoxiao Shi, Rui L. Reis, Subhas C. Kundu, Bowen Ke, Guangjun Nie, Bo Xiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The treatment outcomes of oral medications against ulcerative colitis (UC) have long been restricted by low drug accumulation in the colitis mucosa and subsequent unsatisfactory therapeutic efficacy. Here, high-performance pluronic F127 (P127)-modified gold shell (AuS)-polymeric core nanotherapeutics loading with curcumin (CUR) is constructed. Under near-infrared irradiation, the resultant P127-AuS@CURs generate transient mild photothermia (TMP; ≈42 °C, 10 min), which facilitates their penetration through colonic mucus and favors multiple cellular processes, including cell internalization, lysosomal escape, and controlled CUR release. This strategy relieves intracellular oxidative stress, improves wound healing, and reduces immune responses by polarizing the proinflammatory M1-type macrophages to the anti-inflammatory M2-type. Upon oral administration of hydrogel-encapsulating P127-AuS@CURs plus intestinal intralumen TMP, their therapeutic effects against acute and chronic UC are demonstrated to be superior to those of a widely used clinical drug, dexamethasone. The treatment of P127-AuS@CURs (+ TMP) elevates the proportions of beneficial bacteria (e.g., Lactobacillus and Lachnospiraceae), whose metabolites can also mitigate colitis symptoms by regulating genes associated with antioxidation, anti-inflammation, and wound healing. Overall, the intestinal intralumen TMP offers a promising approach to enhance the therapeutic outcomes of noninvasive medicines against UC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2309516
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number14
StatePublished - Apr 4 2024


  • mild photothermia
  • nanomotor
  • oral administration
  • ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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