Light triggered drug release
A central theme in pharmaceutical research is controlling drug release. A particular area of interest for us is light-triggered release from nanosized drug carriers. We consider light to be the most flexible drug-release trigger for advanced drug delivery systems. Light can be used to both trigger and subsequently control the drug release with extreme time and location precision. To have the best tissue penetration, we are focusing on red-light activatable nanocarriers. Modern ultrathin light guides also enable the treatment of deeper tissues with minimal surgery.
A formidable physiological barrier to light-triggered drug release has been the inability to use high-energy blue/UV light as the triggering signal, making deeper targets within tissues accessible only to red light. However, red light, with its intrinsically lower energy, has limited value in photochemical reactions because e.g., the photocleavage of covalent bonds typically requires UV-light. In order to circumvent this issue, we focus on converting red light into blue light in precisely-tailored drug-releasing implants.
Learn more about Prof. Timo Laaksonen and Dr Tatu Lajunen from the Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology Lab.