In vivo visible light-triggered drug release from an implanted depot
Controlling chemistry in space and time has offered scientists and engineers powerful tools for research and technology. For example, on-demand photo-triggered activation of neurotransmitters has revolutionized neuroscience. Non-invasive control of the availability of bioactive molecules in living organisms will undoubtedly lead to major advances; however, this requires the development of photosystems that efficiently respond to regions of the electromagnetic spectrum that innocuously penetrate tissue. To this end, we have developed a polymer that photochemically degrades upon absorption of one photon of visible light and demonstrated its potential for medical applications. Particles formulated from this polymer release molecular cargo in vitro and in vivo upon irradiation with blue visible light through a photoexpansile swelling mechanism.