Self-indicating, fully active pharmaceutical ingredients nanoparticles (FAPIN) for multimodal imaging guided trimodality cancer therapy

Xiangdong Xue, Yee Huang, Xinshuai Wang, Zhongling Wang, Randy P. Carney, Xiaocen Li, Ye Yuan, Yixuan He, Tzu yin Lin, Yuanpei Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Conventional drug delivery systems contain substantial amounts of excipients such as polymers and lipids, typically with low drug loading capacity and lack of intrinsic traceability and multifunctionality. Here, we report fully active pharmaceutical ingredient nanoparticles (FAPIN) which were self-assembled by minimal materials, but seamlessly orchestrated versatile theranostic functionalities including: i) self-delivery: no additional carriers were required, all components in the formulation are active pharmaceutical ingredients; ii) self-indicating: no additional imaging tags were needed. The nanoparticle itself was composed of 100% imaging agents, so that the stability, drug release, subcellular dispositions, biodistribution and therapeutic efficacy of FAPINs can be readily visualized by ample imaging capacities, including energy transfer relay dominated, dual-color fluorogenic property, near-infrared fluorescence imaging and magnetic resonance imaging; and iii) highly effective trimodality cancer therapy, encompassing photodynamic-, photothermal- and chemo-therapies. FAPINs were fabricated with very simple material (a photosensitizer-drug conjugate), unusually achieved ∼10 times better in vitro antitumor activity than their free counterparts, and were remarkably efficacious in patient-derived xenograft (PDX) glioblastoma multiforme animal models. Only two doses of FAPINs enabled complete ablation of highly-malignant PDX tumors in 50% of the mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-215
Number of pages13
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


  • Cancer therapy
  • Drug delivery
  • Multi-modal therapy
  • Nanoparticles
  • Self-indication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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