Biomimetic ghost nanomedicine-based optotheranostics for cancer

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Theranostic medicine combines diagnostics and therapeutics, focusing on solid tumors at minimal doses. Optically activated photosensitizers are significant examples owing to their photophysical and chemical properties. Several optotheranostics have been tested that convert light to imaging signals, therapeutic radicals, and heat. Upon light exposure, conjugated photosensitizers kill tumor cells by producing reactive oxygen species and heat or by releasing cancer antigens. Despite clinical trials, these molecularly conjugated photosensitizers require protection from their surroundings and a localized direction for site-specific delivery during blood circulation. Therefore, cell membrane biomimetic ghosts have been proposed for precise and safe delivery of these optically active large molecules, which are clinically relevant because of their biocompatibility, long circulation time, bypass of immune cell recognition, and targeting ability. This review focuses on the role of biomimetic nanoparticles in the treatment and diagnosis of tumors through light-mediated diagnostics and therapy, providing insights into their preclinical and clinical status.