Photoswitchable nanoparticles for triggered tissue penetration and drug delivery.
We report a novel nanoparticulate drug delivery system that undergoes reversible volume change from 150 to 40 nm upon phototriggering with UV light. The volume change of these monodisperse nanoparticles comprising spiropyran, which undergoes reversible photoisomerization, and PEGylated lipid enables repetitive dosing from a single administration and enhances tissue penetration. The photoswitching allows particles to fluoresce and release drugs inside cells when illuminated with UV light. The mechanism of the light-induced size switching and triggered-release is studied. These particles provide spatiotemporal control of drug release and enhanced tissue penetration, useful properties in many disease states including cancer.