Acid-responsive H 2 -releasing Fe nanoparticles for safe and effective cancer therapy

Zhu Kou, Penghe Zhao, Zhihao Wang, Zhaokui Jin, Lihua Chen, Bao Lian Su, Qianjun He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hydrogen therapy is an emerging and promising strategy for treatment of inflammation-related diseases owing to the excellent bio-safety of hydrogen molecules (H 2 ), but is facing a challenge that the H 2 concentration at the local disease site is hardly accumulated because of its high diffusibility and low solubility, limiting the efficacy of hydrogen therapy. Herein, we propose a nanomedicine strategy of imaging-guided tumour-targeted delivery and tumour microenvironment-triggered release of H 2 to address this issue, and develop a kind of biocompatible carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC)-coated/stabilized Fe (Fe@CMC) nanoparticle with photoacoustic imaging (PAI), tumour targeting and acid responsive hydrogen release properties for cancer therapy. The Fe@CMC nanoparticles have demonstrated high intratumoural accumulation capability, high acid responsiveness, excellent PAI performance, selective cancer-killing effect and high bio-safety in vitro and in vivo. Effective inhibition of tumour growth is achieved by intravenous injection of the Fe@CMC nanoparticles, and the selective anti-cancer mechanism of Fe@CMC is discovered to be originated from the energy metabolism homeostasis regulatory function of the released H 2 . The proposed nanomedicine-mediated hydrogen therapy strategy will open a new window for precise, high-efficacy and safe cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2759-2765
Number of pages7
JournalJournal Of Materials Chemistry B
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


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