Huynh E & Zheng G
NanoToday, 2014

The traditional role of lipids in the generation of lipid-based supramolecular structures has predominantly been to serve as building blocks to support the delivery or stabilization of a molecule or structure. With an introduction to the synthesis of porphyrin-lipid, a porphyrin conjugated to a phospholipid, and the discovery of porphysome nanovesicles, the role of phospholipids in supramolecular structures has shifted from a simple support to an intrinsic imaging and therapeutic agent. Here we provide an overview of recent developments in the generation of supramolecular structures using porphyrin-lipid and their applications in therapy and imaging, including photothermal therapy, photoacoustic imaging, multimodality imaging and activatable fluorescence imaging and photodynamic therapy. Furthermore, we introduce several new developments within the field of using organic nanoparticles for thermal-based biomedical applications using other organic nanomaterials.