Recent Advances in Polymer-Based Photothermal Materials for Biological Applications
The photothermal effect, which is a phenomenon of converting light energy into thermal energy using photothermal conversion materials, has recently attracted significant attention in biological applications because of the minimal invasiveness to healthy tissues, high specificity, and easy operation. Polymer-based photothermal materials have emerged as a promising category of photothermal agents in biological applications because they show superiorities in tailorable molecular structures, high photothermal conversion efficiencies, and excellent biocompatibility. In this Review, we summarize the recent progresses achieved in polymer-based photothermal materials for biological applications. To have a better understanding of the working mechanism and the design of polymer-based photothermal materials, this Review starts with the fundamental description of photothermal conversion mechanism of polymer-based photothermal materials. According to their structures and compositions, the polymer-based photothermal materials can be classified into three types: conjugated polymers, polymer-modified carbon nanomaterials, and polymer-modified metals and metal compounds. Then we present the recent advances of the polymer-based photothermal materials in a diversity of biological areas such as photothermal therapy and photothermal sterilization. In the last section, we summarize the critical existing issues in polymer-based photothermal materials for biological applications and propose some perspectives that are related to the design and synthesis of polymer-based photothermal materials for biological applications.
drug delivery and release