Oxygen generating nanoparticles for improved photodynamic therapy of hypoxic tumours

Y Sheng, Heather Nesbitt, Bridgeen Callan, Mark A Taylor, Mark Love, AP McHale, J Callan

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81 Citations (Scopus)
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Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a clinically approved anti-cancer treatment that involves the activation of an otherwise inactive sensitisier drug with light, which in the presence of molecular oxygen, generates cytotoxic reactive oxygen species (ROS). As oxygen is a key requirement for the generation of ROS in PDT and given the fact that hypoxia is a characteristic of most solid cancerous tumours, treating hypoxic tumours using PDT can be a challenge. In this manuscript, we have prepared a CaO2 nanoparticle (NP) formulation coated with a pH-sensitive polymer to enable the controlled generation of molecular oxygen as a function of pH. The polymer coat was designed to protect the particles from decomposition while in circulation but enable their activation at lower pH values in hypoxic regions of solid tumours. The oxygen generating capability of the polymer coated NPs was demonstrated in aqueous solution with minimal oxygen produced at pH 7.4, whereas it increased significantly when the pH was reduced to 6.2. The polymer coated CaO2 NPs were also observed to significantly increase tumour pO2 levels (p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-340
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Early online date8 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 28 Oct 2017


  • Hypoxia
  • calcium peroxide
  • Photodynamic Therapy
  • pancreatic cancer.


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