Theranostics 2011; 1:230-239. doi:10.7150/thno/v01p0230

Research Paper

Photosensitizer-Conjugated Human Serum Albumin Nanoparticles for Effective Photodynamic Therapy

Hayoung Jeong1,2 *, MyungSook Huh1 *, So Jin Lee1, Heebeom Koo1, Ick Chan Kwon1, Seo Young Jeong2 ✉, Kwangmeyung Kim1 ✉

1. Biomedical Research Center, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, 39-1 Haweolgog-Dong, Sungbook-Gu, Seoul 136-791, Korea.
2. Department of Life and Nanopharmaceutical Science, Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, 130-701, Korea.
* These authors contributed equally to this paper.


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an emerging theranostic modality for various cancers and diseases. The focus of this study was the development of tumor-targeting albumin nanoparticles containing photosensitizers for efficient PDT. To produce tumor-targeting albumin nanoparticles, the hydrophobic photosensitizer, chlorin e6 (Ce6), was chemically conjugated to human serum albumin (HSA). The conjugates formed self-assembled nanoparticle structures with an average diameter of 88 nm under aqueous conditions. As expected, the Ce6-conjugated HSA nanoparticles (Ce6-HSA-NPs) were nontoxic in their native state, but upon illumination with the appropriate wavelength of light, they produced singlet oxygen and damaged target tumor cells in a cell culture system. Importantly, when the nanoparticles were injected through the tail vein into tumor-bearing HT-29 mice, Ce6-HSA-NPs compared with free Ce6 revealed enhanced tumor-specific biodistribution and successful therapeutic results following laser irradiation. These results suggest that highly tumor-specific albumin nanoparticles have the potential to serve not only as efficient therapeutic agents, but also as photodynamic imaging (PDI) reagents in cancer treatment.

Keywords: Photodynamic therapy, Human Serum Albumin Nanoparticles

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How to cite this article:
Jeong H, Huh M, Lee SJ, Koo H, Kwon IC, Jeong SY, Kim K. Photosensitizer-Conjugated Human Serum Albumin Nanoparticles for Effective Photodynamic Therapy. Theranostics 2011; 1:230-239. doi:10.7150/thno/v01p0230. Available from