Nanotheranostics 2021; 5(3):275-287. doi:10.7150/ntno.57657

Research Paper

Cell membrane coated smart two-dimensional supraparticle for in vivo homotypic cancer targeting and enhanced combinational theranostics

Di Zhang1,2*, Zhongju Ye1,2*, Hua Liu2, Xin Wang2, Jianhao Hua2, Yunyun Ling3, Lin Wei4, Yunsheng Xia3✉, Shaokai Sun5✉, Lehui Xiao2✉

1. College of Chemistry, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, 450001, China.
2. State Key Laboratory of Medicinal Chemical Biology, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Biosensing and Molecular Recognition, College of Chemistry, Nankai University, Tianjin, 300071, China.
3. Key Laboratory of Functional Molecular Solids, Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Materials Science, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, 241000, China.
4. College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Hunan Normal University, Changsha, 410081, China.
5. School of Medical Imaging, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, 300071, China.
* These authors contributed equally to this work.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( See for full terms and conditions.
Zhang D, Ye Z, Liu H, Wang X, Hua J, Ling Y, Wei L, Xia Y, Sun S, Xiao L. Cell membrane coated smart two-dimensional supraparticle for in vivo homotypic cancer targeting and enhanced combinational theranostics. Nanotheranostics 2021; 5(3):275-287. doi:10.7150/ntno.57657. Available from

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Development of intelligent and multifunctional nanoparticle for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer has drawn great attention recently. In this work, we design a smart two-dimensional (2D) supraparticle for tumor targeted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)/photothermal imaging (PTI) and chemo/photothermal therapy (PTT).

Methods: The nanoparticle consists of a manganese dioxide (MnO2) nanosheet coated gold nanorod (GNR) core (loading with chemotherapeutics doxorubicin (DOX)), and cancer cell membrane shell (denoted as CM-DOX-GMNPs). Decoration of cell membrane endows the nanoparticle with greatly improved colloidal stability and homotypic cancer cell targeting ability. Once the nanoparticles enter tumor cells, MnO2 nanosheets can be etched to Mn2+ by glutathione (GSH) and acidic hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in the cytosol, leading to the release of DOX. Meanwhile, stimuli dependent releasing of Mn2+ can act as MRI contrast agent for tumor diagnosis. Illumination with near-infrared (NIR) light, photothermal conversion effect of GNRs can be activated for synergistic cancer therapy.

Results: In vivo results illustrate that the CM-DOX-GMNPs display tumor specific MRI/PTI ability and excellent inhibition effect on tumor growth.

Conclusion: This bioinspired nanoparticle presents an effective and intelligent approach for tumor imaging and therapy, affording valuable guidance for the rational design of robust theranostics nanoplatform.

Keywords: cancer cell membrane, homotypic targeting, dual-modal imaging, gold nanorod, photothermal therapy.