Triarylboron-Doped Acenethiophenes as Organic Sonosensitizers for Highly Efficient Sonodynamic Therapy with Low Phototoxicity

Kanglei Liu, Zhenqi Jiang, Fenggui Zhao, Weizhi Wang, Frieder Jäkle, Nan Wang, Xiaoying Tang, Xiaodong Yin, Pangkuan Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The development of efficient organic sonosensitizers is crucial for sonodynamic therapy (SDT) in the field of cancer treatment. Herein, a new strategy for the development of efficient organic sonosensitizers based on triarylboron-doped acenethiophene scaffolds is presented. The attachment of boron to the linear acenethiophenes lowers the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) energy, resulting in redshifted absorptions and emissions. After encapsulation with the amphiphilic polymer DSPE-mPEG2000, it is found that the nanostructured BAnTh-NPs and BTeTh-NPs (nanoparticles of BAnTh and BTeTh) shows efficient hydroxyl radical (OH) generation under ultrasound (US) irradiation in aqueous solution with almost no phototoxicity, which can overcome the shortcomings of O2-dependent SDT and avoid the potential cutaneous phototoxicity issue. In vitro and in vivo therapeutic results validate that boron-doped acenethiophenes as sonosensitizers enable high SDT efficiency with low phototoxicity and good biocompatibility, indicating that boron-functionalization of acenes is a promising strategy toward organic sonosensitizers for SDT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2206594
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number49
StatePublished - Dec 8 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • heteroacenes
  • hydroxyl radicals
  • sonodynamic therapy
  • sonosensitizers
  • triarylboron


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