Theranostics, integrating tumor treatment and diagnosis concurrently, has become an emerging and meaningful strategy in cancer therapy. In this work, an amphiphilic redox-sensitive near-infrared (NIR) BODIPY dye, which could be formed into nanoparticles (PEG-SS-BDP NPs) by self-assembly, was synthesized and possessed good capability of photothermal therapy (PTT), near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging, photoacoustic (PA) imaging and drug loading. The stable nanoparticles could be dissociated to turn on NIRF due to the rift of embedded disulfide bonds by glutathione (GSH). The enhanced fluorescence in vitro could be observed via confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) after adding GSH, confirming the redox-sensitivity of disulfide bonds. NIRF and PA imaging demonstrated active accumulation in tumor and good imaging effect. At last, PEG-SS-BDP NPs could significantly suppress tumor growth in vivo upon irradiation. The amphiphilic redox-sensitive BODIPY nanoparticles provide a promising design strategy to formulate multifunctional stimuli-responsive theranostic nanoplatforms.

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