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The development of near-infrared light (NIR)-responsive conductive polymers provides a useful theranostic platform for malignant tumours by maximizing spatial resolution with deep tissue penetration for diagnosis and photothermal therapy. Herein, we demonstrated the self-assembly of ultrathin two-dimensional (2D) polypyrrole nanosheets utilizing dopamine as a capping agent and a monolayer of octadecylamine as a template. The 2D polypyrrole-polydopamine nanostructure (DPPy) had tunable size distribution which showed strong absorption in the first and second near-infrared windows, enabling photoacoustic imaging and photothermal therapy. The hybrid double-layer was demonstrated to increase Raman intensity for 3D Raman imaging (up to two orders of magnitude enhancement and spatial resolution up to 1 μm). The acidic environment drove reversible doping of polypyrrole, which could be detected by Raman spectroscopy. The combined properties of the nanosheets could substantially enhance performance in dual-mode Raman and photoacoustic guided photothermal therapy, as shown by the 69% light to heat conversion efficiency and higher cytotoxicity against cancer spheroids. These pH-responsive features highlight the potential of 2D conductive polymers for applications in accurate, highly efficient theranostics. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article


Adv Healthc Mater

Publication Date



Conductive nanosheets, Photoacoustic imaging, Photothermal therapy, Polypyrrole, Raman imaging