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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2016, Article ID 5810952, 10 pages
Review Article

Advances on the Use of Biodegradable Proteins/Peptides in Photothermal Theranostics

1Guangdong Key Laboratory for Biomedical Measurements and Ultrasound Imaging, School of Biomedical Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
2Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Devices and Systems of Ministry of Education and Guangdong Province, College of Optoelectronic Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China

Received 11 April 2016; Accepted 14 June 2016

Academic Editor: Muhamamd A. Malik

Copyright © 2016 Sheng Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recently, photothermal therapy (PTT) which employs light-induced heating to destroy cancer tissues/cells has received tremendous attention due to its improved selectivity and minimal invasion to surrounding healthy tissues. A variety of photothermal conversion agents (PTCAs) with high near-infrared (NIR) light absorbance have been widely explored for NIR light-induced PTT. However, many of them cannot be used directly in vivo owing to their nonbiodegradability, immunogenicity, poor pharmacokinetics, or potential long-term toxicity. Proteins and peptides with inherent biocompatibility and biodegradability have been used as delivery vehicles for PTCAs or used as biotemplates to direct the synthesis of PTCAs. In this review, we will summarize recent advances in the development of protein/peptide-based photothermal cancer theranostics. The perspectives and challenges of these nanoplatforms will also be discussed.