Colloid and Polymer Science

, Volume 297, Issue 2, pp 249–260 | Cite as

Polyethylene glycol–modified molybdenum oxide as NIR photothermal agent and its ablation ability for HeLa cells

  • Hongyun Zou
  • Dongyan TangEmail author
  • Ning Wang
  • Shuyue Jia
  • Zhaojie Sun
  • Xu Yang
  • Jing Peng
Original Contribution


Molybdenum oxide, as one of the important transition metal semiconductor materials with photothermal property, has received increasing attention in the field of catalysis, sensing, energy storage, and clinical biomedicine. To improve its certain limitations such as poor biocompatibility and easy agglomeration during application as biomaterials and promote its performance as photothermal agent in biomedical fields, polyethylene glycol (PEG)–modified molybdenum oxide was synthesized and the synthesis conditions during the hydrothermal process, including the pH values and the amount of PEG added, were adjusted. Owing to the reduction function of PEG, as-obtained PEG-MoOx showed good photostability and colloidal stability, which were beneficial to its application in long-term clinical photothermal therapy. In addition, cell experiments indicated that PEG-MoOx particles exhibited low cytotoxicity and ability of photothermal killing for HeLa cells. With the increase PEG-MoOx particles in solution, the photothermal ablation ability of PEG-MoOx particles for the HeLa cells was enhanced under an 808-nm NIR laser irradiation. Hence, PEG-MoOx particles have great potential in the photothermal treatment of diseases.


PEG Molybdenum oxide Near-infrared absorption Photothermal ablation HeLa cells 


Funding information

The studies were financially supported by the Excellent Academic Leaders Foundation of Harbin, China (No. 2014RFXXJ017).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hongyun Zou
    • 1
  • Dongyan Tang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ning Wang
    • 1
  • Shuyue Jia
    • 1
  • Zhaojie Sun
    • 1
  • Xu Yang
    • 1
  • Jing Peng
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringHarbin Institute of TechnologyHarbinChina

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