Near-infrared light-triggered drug release from a multiple lipid carrier complex using an all-in-one strategy

Huipeng Li, Xue Yang, Zhanwei Zhou, Kaikai Wang, Chenzi Li, Hongzhi Qiao, David Oupicky, Minjie Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


The present study reports a drug delivery system comprising nanostructured lipid carrier (NLCs) within liposomes (Lip-NLCs). This multiple lipid carrier complex features laser-triggered responsive drug release. Both hydrophobic and hydrophilic drugs can be loaded into the same formulation by applying an all-in-one strategy. We hypothesized that if we loaded the hydrophobic near-infrared (NIR) dye IR780 into the liposome phospholipid bilayer, the bilayer would be disrupted by laser irradiation so that drug release would be triggered remotely at the tumor site. We used in vitro and in vivo methods to verify that laser irradiation facilitated controlled release of both hydrophobic and hydrophilic drugs. The degree of drug release triggered by NIR laser light could be adjusted by varying the laser intensity and irradiation time. Following laser treatment, hydrophilic AMD3100 was released from the aqueous liposome chamber and then bound with CXCR4 receptors on the tumor cell surface to inhibit metastasis. NLCs carrying lipophilic IR780 were also released from the aqueous chamber of liposomes and taken up into tumor cells to enhance the photothermal therapeutic effect of IR780. More importantly, Lip-NLCs loaded with IR780 and AMD3100 (IR780-AMD-Lip-NLCs) exhibited enhanced anti-tumor and anti-metastasis effects. These results suggest that Lip-NLCs are a safe and simply prepared all-in-one platform for delivery of drugs with different solubilities. This system facilitates easily controlled release of cargoes to achieve multi-functional combined therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-137
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
StatePublished - Sep 10 2017


  • AMD3100
  • Anti-metastatic
  • IR780
  • IR780-AMD-Lip-NLCs
  • Near-infrared light-triggered drug release
  • Photothermal antitumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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