Many theranostic nanomedicines (NMs) have been fabricated by packaging imaging and therapeutic moieties together. However, concerns about their potential architecture instability and pharmacokinetic complexity remain major obstacles to their clinical translation. Herein, we demonstrated the use of CuInS/ZnS quantum dots (ZCIS QDs) as “all-in-one” theranostic nanomedicines that possess intrinsic imaging and therapeutic capabilities within a well-defined nanostructure. ZCIS QDs were exploited for multispectral optical tomography (MSOT) imaging and synergistic PTT/PDT therapy. Due to the intrinsic fluorescence/MSOT imaging ability of the ZCIS QDs, their size-dependent distribution profiles were successfully visualized at tumor sites in vivo. Our results showed that the smaller nanomedicines (ZCIS NMs-25) have longer tumor retention times, higher tumor uptake, and deeper tumor penetration than the larger nanomedicines (ZCIS NMs-80). The ability of ZCIS QDs to mediate photoinduced tumor ablation was also explored. Our results verified that under a single 660 nm laser irradiation, the ZCIS NMs had simultaneous inherent photothermal and photodynamic effects, resulting in high therapy efficacy against tumors. In summary, the ZCIS QDs as “all-in-one” versatile nanomedicines allow high therapeutic efficacy as well as noninvasively monitoring tumor site localization profiles by imaging techniques and thus hold great potential as precision theranostic nanomedicines.

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