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      Multifunctional nanocarriers for cell imaging, drug delivery, and near-IR photothermal therapy.

      Cell Line, Tumor, Cell Survival, drug effects, Chitosan, chemistry, Cisplatin, pharmacology, Colorectal Neoplasms, drug therapy, therapy, Humans, Microscopy, Electron, Transmission, Microscopy, Fluorescence, Models, Theoretical, Nanospheres, diagnostic use, therapeutic use, Nanotubes, Photochemistry, methods

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          Multifunctional nanocarriers based on chitosan/gold nanorod (CS-AuNR) hybrid nanospheres have been successfully fabricated by a simple nonsolvent-aided counterion complexation method. Anticancer drug cisplatin was subsequently loaded into the obtained hybrid nanospheres, utilizing the loading space provided by the chitosan spherical matrix. In vitro cell experiments demonstrated that the CS-AuNR hybrid nanospheres can not only be utilized as contrast agents for real-time cell imaging but also serve as a near-infrared (NIR) thermotherapy nanodevice to achieve irradiation-induced cancer cell death owing to the unique optical properties endowed by the encapsulated gold nanorods. In addition, an effective attack on the cancer cells by the loaded anticancer drug cisplatin has also been observed, rendering the obtained nanocarriers an all-in-one system possessing drug delivery, cell imaging, and photothermal therapy functionalities.

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