Although phototherapy has been considered as an emerging and promising technology for cancer therapy, its therapeutic specificity and efficacy are severely limited by nonspecific uptake by normal tissues, tumor hypoxia, and so on. Herein, combination-responsive strategy (CRS) is applied to develop one kind of hyaluronic acid-hybridized Ru nanoaggregates (HA-Ru NAs) for enhanced cancer phototherapy via the reasonable integration of receptor-mediated targeting (RMT) and tumor-microenvironment responsiveness (TMR). In this nanosystem, the HA component endows HA-Ru NAs with RMT characteristic to selectively recognize CD44-overexpressing cancer cells, whereas the Ru nanocomponent makes HA-Ru NAs have TMR therapy activity. Specially, the Ru nanocomponent not only has near-infrared-mediated photothermal and photodynamic functions but also can catalyze H2O2 in tumor tissue to produce O2 for the alleviation of tumor hypoxia and toxic •OH for chemodynamic therapy. Benefitting from these, HA-Ru NAs can be considered as a promising kind of CRS nanoplatforms for synergistic photothermal/photodynamic/chemodynamic therapies of cancer, which will not only effectively improve the phototherapeutic specificity and efficacy but also simplify the therapeutic nanosystems. Meanwhile, HA-Ru NAs can serve as a photoacoustic and computed tomography imaging contrast agent to monitor tumors. Such CRS nanoplatforms hold significant potential in improving therapeutic specificity and efficacy for enhanced cancer phototheranostics.

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