MCF-7 cells (104 cells per well) were seeded in 96-well plates for 24 hours in advance. Afterward, 2-nm Au-POY2T NPs, self-assembled nanoflowers, and other control groups (POY2T sequence, CA sequence, and 2-nm Au-TIOP NPs) were suspended in fresh media and added to the wells. All the treated concentrations were at or equal to 1 μM in POY2T. For self-assembled nanostructure-treated groups, the cells were irradiated by an 808-nm NIR laser at 1 W/cm2 for 3 or 10 min after each preincubation (1, 3, 6, and 12 hours). After each irradiation, the cells were continued for incubation until 24 hours. Last, the cell viability was determined by an MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay. Briefly, the medium was replaced with 100 μl of MTT (0.5 mg/ml), and after a 3-hour incubation, the MTT solution was replaced with 150 μl of dimethyl sulfoxide solution. The absorbance at 570 nm of each well was measured by a plate reader. Untreated cells in the medium were used as a control. All SDs were calculated from three replicates.

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