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Light-Sensitive Drug Delivery Under Development

Materials can selectively deliver drugs to appropriate sites

FRIDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Light-sensitive intelligent materials that can selectively deliver drugs to appropriate sites or in response to changes in the body have been developed but still need improvement, according to a review published online Feb. 13 in Photochemistry and Photobiology.

Carmen Alvarez-Lorenzo, from the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela in Spain, and colleagues describe the components and use of light-responsive micelles and gels, photothermal controlled release systems, light-responsive liposomes, and light-responsive nanocomposites as controlled drug delivery systems in response to electromagnetic radiation, mainly ultraviolet, visible and near-infrared.

However, the researchers note that more efforts are needed to design and synthesize new biocompatible materials to increase the range of light-sensitive materials considered safe by the Food and Drug Administration. More specialized equipment that provides the correct irradiation dose without affecting surrounding tissues is needed, as well as more in vivo evaluation of new delivery systems.

"Light-sensitiveness is a quite attractive phenomenon for developing advanced drug delivery systems capable of a precise external modulation of the site and the rate of delivery," Alvarez-Lorenzo and colleagues conclude.

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