Metallo-alginate hydrogel can potentiate microwave tumor ablation for synergistic cancer treatment
Yujie Zhu, Zhijuan Yang, Zijian Pan, Yu Hao, Chunjie Wang, Ziliang Dong, Quguang Li, Yikai Han, Longlong Tian, Liangzhu Feng*, Zhuang Liu*
Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials (FUNSOM), Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Carbon-Based Functional Materials & Devices, Soochow University, 199 Ren'ai Road, Suzhou, 215123 Jiangsu, PR China
Microwave ablation (MWA) as a local tumor ablation strategy suffers from posttreatment tumor recurrence. Development of adjuvant biomaterials to potentiate MWA is therefore of practical significance. Here, the high concentration of Ca2+ fixed by alginate as Ca2+-surplus alginate hydrogel shows enhanced heating efficiency and restricted heating zone under microwave exposure. The high concentration of extracellular Ca2+ synergizes with mild hyperthermia to induce immunogenic cell death by disrupting intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis. Resultantly, Ca2+-surplus alginate hydrogel plus MWA can ablate different tumors on both mice and rabbits at reduced operation powers. This treatment can also elicit antitumor immunity, especially if synergized with Mn2+, an activator of the stimulation of interferon genes pathway, to suppress the growth of both untreated distant tumors and rechallenged tumors. This work highlights that in situ-formed metallo-alginate hydrogel could act as microwave-susceptible and immunostimulatory biomaterial to reinforce the MWA therapy, promising for clinical translation.