Alterations in macrophage functions contribute to a variety of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Diagnosis and eradication of activated macrophages is becoming a valid pharmaceutical target. In this work, gold nanorods conjugated with arginine-rich peptides were applied as theragonosis agents to detect activated macrophages via two-photon luminescence (TPL) and subsequent eradicate through optical hyperthermia. Functionalized gold nanorods could be selectively internalized by activated macrophages in live animals 0.5 h after intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection. Apoptosis of macrophage was induced under proper irradiation conditions to reduce secondary inflammation, through mitochondria-dependent pathway.
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