Protein-based nanocarriers for photodynamic therapy and subdiffraction localization of the theranostic agent.
Theranostics is a new emerging field of nano-medicine which is focused on developing chemical constructs with diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. An interesting approach is exploiting a protein as nanocarrier for a therapeutic agent, like a photosensitizer. A photosensitizer is a molecule able to generate oxidizing species upon illumination and is used in photodynamic therapy against bacteria and tumor cells. We have recently studied Hypericin and we have demonstrated that Hypericin can be transported by apomyoglobin to target cells, can kill the cells and as fluorescent probe can be exploited for localization, using confocal and superresolution microscopy.