Intracellular light-induced release of signaling molecules from gold-coated liposomes

Gabriel V. Orsinger, Joshua D. Williams, Marek Romanowski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


The combination of laser light and composite nanovesicles enables unique opportunities for precise delivery to, and ondemand release of molecular compounds within, single cells at high spatiotemporal resolution. Here, we demonstrate precise delivery and intracellular release of molecules from gold-coated liposomes via near infrared (NIR) light. The plasmon resonant gold shell provides a light-sensitive trigger for on-demand content release from thermosensitive liposomes. Two demonstrations of intracellular delivery and release from gold-coated liposomes are presented here. The first example uses microinjection to preload gold-coated liposomes into a single cell, followed by exposure to onresonant NIR laser light to trigger release of a fluorescent nuclear dye intracellularly. In the second delivery and release demonstration, gold-coated liposomes encapsulating inositol trisphosphate (IP3), a ubiquitous secondary messenger in cell signaling cascades, passively accumulate within cells via endocytosis. Exposure to on-resonant NIR laser wavelength of light induces rapid release of IP3 from the intracellular liposomes and subsequent activation of Ca2+ signaling at a single cell, monitored by changes in fluorescence intensity of a Ca 2+-sensitive dye.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationColloidal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications IX
ISBN (Print)9780819498687
StatePublished - 2014
EventColloidal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications IX - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 1 2014Feb 4 2014

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherColloidal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications IX
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • Cell signaling
  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Intracellular delivery
  • Liposomes
  • Plasmon resonance
  • Tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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