Modulation of Efficient Diiodo-BODIPY in Vitro Phototoxicity to Cancer Cells by Carbon Nano-Onions


Photodynamic therapy is currently one of the most promising approaches for targeted cancer treatment. It is based on responses of vital physiological signals, namely, reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are associated with diseased condition development, such as tumors. This study presents the synthesis, incorporation, and application of a diiodo-BODIPY–based photosensitizer, based on a non-covalent functionalization of carbon nano-onions (CNOs). In vitro assays demonstrate that HeLa cells internalize the diiodo-BODIPY molecules and their CNO nanohybrids. Upon cell internalization and light exposure, the pyrene–diiodo-BODIPY molecules induce an increase of the ROS level of HeLa cells, resulting in remarkable photomediated cytotoxicity and apoptosis. Conversely, when HeLa cells internalize the diiodo-BODIPY/CNO nanohybrids, no significant cytotoxicity or ROS basal level increase can be detected. These results define a first step toward the understanding of carbon nanomaterials that function as molecular shuttles for photodynamic therapeutics, boosting the modulation of the photosensitizer.

Frontiers in Chemistry
Silvia Giordani
Silvia Giordani
Full Professor Chair of Nanomaterials

My research interests are in the design, synthesis, and characterization of hybrid smart nanomaterials for biomedical, energy and environmental applications