Novel Method to Develop Nanotechnology Bacteria for Photothermal Cancer Immunotheranostics

There is substantial interest in understanding and designing nanotechnology bacteria to fight various deadly cancer diseases. However, conventional nanotechnology approaches adopt genetic manipulation to attenuate and enhance the effectiveness of bacteria. Moreover, complicated chemical reactions were essential in previous approaches.

Scientists from the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) have created a practical method for the development of nanotechnology bacteria for immunotheragnosis of photothermal cancer.

Discovered by Associate Professor Eijiro Miyako and his student Ms. Sheethal Reghu of JAIST, the synthesized ICG encapsulating Cremophor® EL (CRE) nanoparticles could be applied to Bifidobacterium bacteria for its effective nanoconjugation for cancer optotheranostics using a biologically penetrable near-infrared (NIR) laser. Notably, nano-modified bacteria can be easily prepared in just two steps, namely incubation and washing processes.

The optically activated functional nanotech bacteria exhibited unique optical absorbance and fluorescent properties, strong photothermal conversion, high biocompatibility, excellent tumor selectivity and strong anti-cancer efficacy. NIR fluorescence of light-induced functional nanotech bacteria facilitated clear visualization of fluorescent tumors, in association with the bacterial tumor targeting effect. Moreover, the potent photothermal conversion of functional bacteria could be spatiotemporally evoked by a biologically penetrable NIR laser for effective tumor regression in mice, using immunological responses. The present study demonstrates that an optical nanoengineering approach can provide the strong physicochemical traits and attenuation of live bacterial cells for cancer immunotherapy.

Current experiences warrant further investigation of this new theranostic approach for the treatment of refractory cancers. The team believe the technology developed would advance cancer treatment to create more effective medicine.


Japan Higher Institute of Science and Technology

Journal reference:

Reghu, S & Miyako, E., (2022) Nanotechnology bifidobacterium bifidum with optical activity for photothermal cancer immunotherapy. Nano-letters.

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