Unexpected high photothemal conversion efficiency of gold nanospheres upon grafting with two-photon luminescent ruthenium(II) complexes: a way towards cancer therapy?

Pingyu Zhang, Jinquan Wang, Huaiyi Huang, Bole Yu, Kangqiang Qiu, Juanjuan Huang, Shutao Wang, Lei Jiang, Gilles Gasser, Liangnian Ji, Hui Chao

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58 Citations (Scopus)


The design and development of functional hybrid nanomaterials is currently a topic of great interest in biomedicine. Herein we investigated the grafting of Ru(II) polypyridyl complexes onto gold nanospheres (Ru@AuNPs) to improve the particles' near infrared (NIR) absorption, and ultimately allow for application in photothermal cancer therapy. As demonstrated in this article, these ruthenium(II) complexes could indeed significantly enhance gold nanospheres' two-photon luminescence (PTL) intensity and photothermal therapy (PTT) efficiency. The best dual functional nanoparticles of this study were successfully used for real-time luminescent imaging-guided PTT in live cancer cells. Furthermore, in vivo tumor ablation was achieved with excellent treatment efficacy under a diode laser (808 nm) irradiation at the power density of 0.8 W/cm2 for 5 min. This study demonstrates that the coupling of inert Ru(II) polypyridyl complexes to gold nanospheres allows for the enhancement of two-photon luminescence and for efficient photothermal effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-114
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Gold nanospheres
  • Photothermal
  • Ru(II) complex
  • Two-photon luminescence

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