Background:Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an effective therapy for cancers and is a minimally invasive therapy with low dark toxicity and limited side effects. PDT employs the combination of photosensitizers with a specific light source to produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) to damage tumor cells.Methods:We fabricated nanoparticles encapsulating curcumin through crosslinking chitosan and tripolyphosphate (TPP). Additionally, the chitosan was conjugated to epidermal growth factor in order to target the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), overexpressed on cancer cells. To investigate PDT using fabricated nanoparticles, we measured cell viabilities and ROS production in relation to EGFR-overexpressing gastric cancer cells and non-cancer gastric cells.Results:The targeting nanoparticles displayed a superior PDT effect in the cancer cell, with a resultant approximately fourfold decrease in the IC50. The PDT mechanism of curcumin-encapsulated nanoparticles is further identified as the generation of 1O2, the major pathway in PDT.Conclusion:These curcumin-encapsulated chitosan/TPP nanoparticles are a promising targeted-PDT against EGFR-overexpressing cancers.