Journal of Materials Chemistry B
Regioisomer-manipulating thio-perylenediimide nanoagents for photothermal/photodynamic theranostics
Zhonghua Liu, Yijian Gao, Xin Jin, Qingyuan Deng, Zengle Yin, Shuaihang Tong, Weixia Qing, Yongwei Huang
Thionated perylenediimides (PDIs) can potentially generate thermal and reactive oxygen species and thus can be used as theranostic agents for photothermal/photodynamic therapy. Herein, thionated cis-/trans-isomer PDI-CS and PDI-TS were designed and prepared to investigate thionation engineering on therapeutic performance. The results revealed that the photodynamic performance is less associated with the positon of sulfur atoms. By contrast, trans-isomer PDI-TS showed a photothermal conversion efficiency of up to 58.4%, which was 40% higher than that of PDI-CS (∼41.6%). An in vitro half-maximal inhibitory concentration of ∼7.78 μg mL−1 was achieved for PDI-TS, which was 1.7-fold smaller than that of PDI-CS, strongly reasserting the regioisomer-modulated phototheranostic performance. Notably, the strong π–π and C⋯S interactions in PDI-TS nanoagents are essential factors attributed to their excellent photothermal performance, indicating that the optimization of non-bonding interactions is an ingenious way to improve phototheranostic performance. This work provides a facile means of creating thio-perylenediimides that possess excellent antitumor properties and a novel proof of concept to improve therapeutic performance through the optimization of non-bonding interactions.