Far-red light-triggered cargo release from liposomes b ound to a photosensitizer-cellulose nanofiber hydrogel

Olga Lem, Puja Gangurde, Artturi Koivuniemi, Aleksi Keskinen, Alexander Efimov, Nikita Durandin, Timo Laaksonen

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In our research we used the anionic nanofibrillar cellulose (ANFC) as a platform for far-red light-induced release of cargo from liposomes. In contrast to previous works, where photosensitizers are usually in the liposomal bilayers, we used a cellulose-binding dye. Our phthalocyanine derivative has been shown to bind very strongly to cellulose and cellulose nanofiber hydrogels, allowing us to place it outside of the liposomes. Both the sensitizer and cationic liposomes bind strongly to the ANFC after mixing, making the system easy to fabricate. Upon light activation, the photosensitizer generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) within the ANFC hydrogel, where the reactive oxygen species oxidize unsaturated lipids in the liposomal membrane, which makes the liposomes more permeable, resulting in on-demand cargo release. We were able to achieve ca. 70 % release of model hydrophilic cargo molecule calcein from the hydrogels with a relatively low dose of light (262 J/cm2) while employing the straightforward fabrication techniques. Our system was remarkably responsive to the far-red light (730 nm), enabling deep tissue penetration. Therefore, this very promising novel cellulose-immobilized photosensitizer liposomal platform could be used as a controlled drug delivery system, which can have applications in externally activated coatings or implants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122134
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2024
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Cargo release
  • Cellulose
  • Hydrogel
  • Light
  • Liposomes

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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