Can Photothermal Post-Operative Cancer Treatment Be Induced by a Thermal Trigger?

Lei Chen, Qianqian Yu, Kai Cheng, Paul D Topham, Mengmeng Xu, Xiaoqing Sun, Yumin Pan, Yifan Jia, Shuo Wang, Linge Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the current challenges in the post-operative treatment of breast cancer is to develop a local therapeutic vector for preventing recurrence and metastasis. Herein, we develop a core-shell fibrous scaffold comprising phase-change materials and photothermal/chemotherapy agents, as a thermal trigger for programmable-response drug release and synergistic treatment. The scaffold is obtained by in situ growth of a zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) shell on the surface of poly(butylene succinate)/lauric acid (PBS/LA) phase-change fibers (PCFs) to create PCF@ZIF-8. After optimizing the core-shell and phase transition behavior, gold nanorods (GNRs) and doxorubicin hydrochloride (DOX) co-loaded PCF@ZIF-8 scaffolds were shown to significantly enhance in vitro and in vivo anticancer efficacy. In a healthy tissue microenvironment at pH 7.4, the ZIF-8 shell ensures the sustained release of DOX. If the tumor recurs, the acidic microenvironment induces the decomposition of the ZIF-8 shell. Under the second near-infrared (NIR-II) laser treatment, GNR-induced thermal not only directly destroys the relapsed tumor cells but also accelerates DOX release by inducing the phase transition of LA. Our study sheds light on a well-designed programmable-response trigger, which provides a promising strategy for post-operative recurrence prevention of cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60837-60851
Number of pages15
Journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number51
Early online date16 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 29 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see


  • core−shell fiber
  • photothermal-chemotherapy
  • post-operative cancer recurrence
  • electrospinning
  • phase-change fiber
  • programmable-response


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