X-ray-responsive selenium nanoparticles for enhanced cancer chemo-radiotherapy

Bo Yu, Ting Liu, Yanxin Du, Zuandi Luo, Wenjie Zheng, Tianfeng Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Resistance of cancer to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy is one of the important reasons of clinical treatment failure and recurrence. Chemoradiation is an optional method to over-coming of radioresistance and chemoresistance. Selenium nanoparticles (SeNPs) with special chemical and physical properties, has been identified as a novel nanocarrier and therapy agent with broad-spectrum anticancer activities due to generate ROS in cells. Herein, X-ray responsive selenium nanoparticles were facilely fabricated by using PEG as surface decorator and template. This nanosystem (PEG-SeNPs) demonstrated X-ray responsive property that was attributed to its amorphous characteristic. Interestingly, the nanosystem demonstrated significant radiosensitization effects with X-ray. Specifically, co-treatment of cancer cells with PEG-SeNPs and X-ray significantly and synergistically enhanced the cells growth inhibition through induction of cell apoptosis, as evidenced by DNA fragmentation and activation of caspase-3. In the cell model, we found that internalized nanoparticles could degrade upon X-ray exposure, which further confirm the X-ray responsive property of the nanoparticles. Moreover, the nanosystem could significantly induced intracellular ROS generation in a time-dependent manner, which peaked at about 40. min and gradually decreased thereafter. As a results, ROS overproduction led to mitochondria fragmentation and the cell apoptosis. Taken together, this study provides a novel strategy for rational design and facile synthesis of chemo-radio therapeutic radiosensitization nanomaterials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-189
Number of pages10
JournalColloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Radiosensitization
  • Radiotherapy
  • Selenium nanoparticles
  • X-ray-responsive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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