Controlled laser-induced cavitation for cargo release

Gašper Kokot

Complex Matter Department, Jožef Stefan Institute


Encapsulation of a drug in order to release it after it reaches the affected body site is the goal of targeted drug delivery. Many mechanisms have been proposed as triggers for the drug release from chemical, near infra red (NIR) light to electric field, yet none of them was able to provide temporal alongside spatial control. We will show a low power NIR light regime where we can induce local cavitation bubble by illuminating an optically opaque microparticle with an optical tweezers pulse. When the particle is attached to the membrane of a giant unilamellar vesicle (GUV) the laser induced cavitation damages the membrane and we observe a release of the interior solution. We have positional control over the optical tweezers allowing us to specifically target the GUVs. Moreover, the method does not damage cells, which is a desirable outcome for targeted drug delivery.

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