Combined photoacoustic imaging and photothermal therapy for cancer was created by Sangyong Jon, a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at KAIST, along with his team using Bilirubin (BR) nanoparticles.
The properties of a bile pigment referred to as BR, which exerts powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, were applied by the team to this research.
The team believes this research, which demonstrates high biocompatibility as well as excellent photoacoustic imaging and photothermal therapy, to be a suitable system in the field of treatment for cancer.
In the past, the research team created a PEGylated bilirubin-based nanoparticle system by joining water-insoluble BR with water-soluble Polyethylene Glycol (PEG).
This technology enabled BR exerting antioxidants yet prevented them from being collected in the body. Its safety and efficiency was identified in an animal disease model, for conditions such as asthma, inflammatory bowel disease and islet cell transportation.
Differing from earlier research techniques, this research applied the various physicochemical properties of BR to cancer treatment.