Biomacromolecules, Vol.22, No.2, 811-822, 2021
Glycyrrhetinic Acid-Modified Silicon Phthalocyanine for Liver Cancer-Targeted Photodynamic Therapy
To supplement shortcomings of existing treatments and enhance the therapeutic effect for liver cancer, a novel photosensitizer is designed using silicon phthalocyanine (SiPC) and a unique targeting moiety, glycyrrhetinic acid (GA). The SiPC is modified with a hydrophilic polymer and finally bound with GA. The solubility, fluorescence, singlet oxygen generation, and UV-vis absorbance are analyzed, and receptor-dependent intracellular influx is estimated in various cell lines. Using flow cytometry and confocal microscopy, intracellular fluorescence was detected in liver cancer because of GA receptor overexpression. To prove in vitro photodynamic therapeutic effects, the sample treated cells are irradiated and viability of liver cancer cells decreases in proportion to laser power. Then, it is confirmed that GA-modified SiPC effectively accumulated in liver cancer of HepG2 tumor-bearing mouse. Additionally, the PDT-combined therapeutic effect of GA-modified SiPC is observed in the tumor model and shown to have a tumor growth inhibition effect (60.36 times higher than the control group) and supported by histological analyses. These results demonstrate that the newly modified SiPC can be applied to liver cancer-specific treatment with high therapeutic efficacy. Consequently, novel SiPC has the potential to alter conventional liver cancer-targeted therapy and chemotherapy in clinical use.