Optically Controlled Drug Release from Light-Sensitive Liposomes with the New Photosensitizer 5,10-DiOH

Paula Enzian, Christian Schell, Astrid Link, Carina Malich, Ralph Pries, Barbara Wollenberg, Ramtin Rahmanzadeh*

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


The delivery of therapeutic drugs to a specific cellular site is a challenge in the treatment of different diseases. Liposomes have been widely studied as vehicles for drug delivery, and recent research begins to show the potential of the light-controlled opening of liposomes. Liposomes with photoactive molecules can release their cargo upon light irradiation for localized drug release. Light as an external trigger can be controlled temporally and spatially with high precision. In this study, we investigate the potential of light-sensitive liposomes with four photosensitizers and two lipid formulations for light-induced release. To investigate the permeabilization of the liposomes, calcein was encapsulated in high concentration inside the liposomes so that the calcein fluorescence is quenched. If calcein is released from the liposome, quenching is avoided, and the fluorescence increases. We demonstrated that liposomes with the sensitizers benzoporphyrine derivative monoacid (BPD), chlorine e6 (Ce6), Al(III) phthalocyanine chloride disulfonic acid (AlPcS2), and 5,10-di-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-15,20-diphenyl-21,23H-porphyrin (5,10-DiOH) release cargo effectively after irradiation. Liposomes with 5,10-DiOH showed a quicker release compared to the other sensitizers upon irradiation at 420 nm. Further, we observed through fractionated irradiation, that most of the release took place during light application, while the permeability of the liposome decreased shortly after light exposure. This effect was stronger with liposomes containing less cholesterol.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)2779-2788
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 03.08.2020

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Biomedical Engineering


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