Laser-induced thermal response and controlled release of copper oxide nanoparticles from multifunctional polymeric nanocarriers

Inbal Maor, Somayeh Asadi, Sanzhar Korganbayev, Daniel Dahis, Yosi Shamay, Emiliano Schena, Haim Azhari, Paola Saccomandi, Iris Sonia Weitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multifunctional nanocarriers have attracted considerable interest in improving cancer treatment outcomes. Poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) nanospheres encapsulating copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO-NPs) are characterized by antitumor activity and exhibit dual-modal contrast-enhancing capabilities. An in vitro evaluation demonstrates that this delivery system allows controlled and sustained release of CuO-NPs. To achieve localized release on demand, an external stimulation by laser irradiation is suggested. Furthermore, to enable simultaneous complementary photothermal therapy, polydopamine (PDA) coating for augmented laser absorption is proposed. To this aim, two formulations of CuO-NPs loaded nanospheres are prepared from PLGA polymers RG-504 H (H-PLGA) and RG-502 H (L-PLGA) as scaffolds for surface modification through in situ polymerization of dopamine and then PEGylation. The obtained CuO-NPs-based multifunctional nanocarriers are characterized, and photothermal effects are examined as a function of wavelength and time. The results show that 808 nm laser irradiation of the coated nanospheres yields maximal temperature elevation (T = 41°C) and stimulates copper release at a much faster rate compared to non-irradiated formulations. Laser-triggered CuO-NP release is mainly depended on the PLGA core, resulting in faster release with L-PLGA, which also yielded potent anti-tumor efficacy in head and neck cancer cell line (Cal-33). In conclusion, the suggested multifunctional nanoplatform offers the integrated benefits of diagnostic imaging and laser-induced drug release combined with thermal therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-233
Number of pages16
JournalScience and Technology of Advanced Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - 12 Mar 2021


  • 100 Materials; 102 Porous / Nanoporous / Nanostructured materials
  • CuO nanoparticles
  • PLGA
  • laser
  • light-absorbing material
  • multifunctional nanocarrier
  • photothermal therapy
  • polydopamine
  • stimuli-responsive release

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)


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