Plasmon resonant gold-coated liposomes for spectrally controlled content release

Sarah J. Leung, Michael C. Bobnick, Marek Romanowski

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

6 Scopus citations


We recently demonstrated that liposome-supported plasmon resonant gold nanoshells are degradable into components of a size compatible with renal clearance, potentially enabling their use as multifunctional agents in applications in nanomedicine, including imaging, diagnostics, therapy, and drug delivery (Troutman et al., Adv. Mater. 2008, 20, 2604-2608). When illuminated with laser light at the wavelength matching their plasmon resonance band, gold-coated liposomes rapidly release their encapsulated substances, which can include therapeutic and diagnostic agents. The present research demonstrates that release of encapsulated agents from gold-coated liposomes can be spectrally controlled by varying the location of the plasmon resonance band; this spectral tuning is accomplished by varying the concentration of gold deposited on the surface of liposomes. Furthermore, the amount of laser energy required for release is qualitatively explained using the concept of thermal confinement (Jacques, Appl. Opt. 1993, 32(3), 2447-2454). Overlapping thermal confinement zones can be avoided by minimizing the laser pulse width, resulting in lower energy requirements for liposomal content release and less global heating of the sample. Control of heating is especially important in drug delivery applications, where it enables spatial and spectral control of delivery and prevents thermal damage to tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPlasmonics in Biology and Medicine VII
StatePublished - 2010
EventPlasmonics in Biology and Medicine VII - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 25 2010Jan 28 2010

Publication series

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


OtherPlasmonics in Biology and Medicine VII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • Contrast agents
  • Controlled release
  • Drug delivery
  • Liposomes
  • Nanomedicine
  • Optical imaging
  • Plasmon resonance
  • Self assembly

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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