John Garner

PLA-PEG-PLA from PolySciTech used in development of Photo-thermal platform for use in post-surgical treatment of cancer

Blog Post created by John Garner on Mar 6, 2018

black-phosphorous photothermal therapy PLA-PEG-PLA thermogel polyvivo polyscitech.png

There are many different types of ‘light’ beyond the visible spectrum. One example is near-infrared (~700-1000 nm), which is of lower frequency than visible red light. This form of light has the unique capability to penetrate through tissue. This feature is typically applied in tandem with a fluorescent dye for imaging, however it can also be applied with a photothermal agent to cause localized heating in a specific region, such as the tissue immediately surrounding a tumor. Recently, researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the City University of Hong Kong used PLA-PEG-PLA thermogel (Polyvivo AK100) from PolySciTech ( to generate a near-infrared responsive photothermal therapy gel system. This research holds promise for the development of novel therapeutic options for cancer treatment. Read more: Shao, Jundong, Changshun Ruan, Hanhan Xie, Zhibin Li, Huaiyu Wang, Paul K. Chu, and Xue-Feng Yu “Black-Phosphorus-Incorporated Hydrogel as a Sprayable and Biodegradable Photothermal Platform for Postsurgical Treatment of Cancer”  Adv. Sci. 2018, 1700848, 3 March 2018, 10.1002/advs.201700848


“Abstract: Photothermal therapy (PTT) is a fledgling therapeutic strategy for cancer treatment with minimal invasiveness but clinical adoption has been stifled by concerns such as insufficient biodegradability of the PTT agents and lack of an efficient delivery system. Here, black phosphorus (BP) nanosheets are incorporated with a thermosensitive hydrogel [poly(d,l-lactide)-poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(d,l-lactide) (PDLLA-PEG-PDLLA: PLEL)] to produce a new PTT system for postoperative treatment of cancer. The BP@PLEL hydrogel exhibits excellent near infrared (NIR) photothermal performance and a rapid NIR-induced sol–gel transition as well as good biodegradability and biocompatibility in vitro and in vivo. Based on these merits, an in vivo PTT postoperative treatment strategy is established. Under NIR irradiation, the sprayed BP@PLEL hydrogel enables rapid gelation forming a gelled membrane on wounds and offers high PTT efficacy to eliminate residual tumor tissues after tumor removal surgery. Furthermore, the good photothermal antibacterial performance prevents infection and this efficient and biodegradable PTT system is very promising in postoperative treatment of cancer.”