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A mechanoresponsive nano-sized carrier achieves intracellular release of drug on external ultrasound stimulus

Catania, Rosa; Onion, David; Russo, Emanuele; Zelzer, Mischa; Mantovani, Giuseppe; Huett, Alan; Stolnik, Snow


Rosa Catania

David Onion

Emanuele Russo

Assistant Professor

Snow Stolnik


Control over intracellular release of therapeutic compounds incorporated into nano-carriers will open new possibilities for targeted treatments of various diseases including cancer, and viral and bacterial infections. Here we report our study on mechanoresponsive nano-sized liposomes which, following internalization by cells, achieve intracellular delivery of encapsulated cargo on application of external ultrasound stimulus. This is demonstrated in a bespoke cell reporter system designed to assess free drug in cytoplasm. Biophysical analyses show that drug release is attributable to the action of a mechanoresponsive spiropyran-based compound embedded in the liposomal lipid membrane. Exposure to external ultrasound stimulus results in opening of the molecular structure of the embedded spiropyran, a consequent increase in liposomal lipid membrane fluidity, and size-dependent release of encapsulated model drugs, all pointing to lipid bilayer perturbation. The study hence illustrates feasibility of the proposed concept where intracellular drug release from mechanoresponsive liposomes can be triggered on demand by external ultrasound stimulus.


Catania, R., Onion, D., Russo, E., Zelzer, M., Mantovani, G., Huett, A., & Stolnik, S. (2022). A mechanoresponsive nano-sized carrier achieves intracellular release of drug on external ultrasound stimulus. RSC Advances, 12(26), 16561-16569.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 24, 2022
Online Publication Date Jun 6, 2022
Publication Date Jun 6, 2022
Deposit Date Aug 5, 2022
Publicly Available Date Aug 5, 2022
Journal RSC Advances
Print ISSN 2046-2069
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 26
Pages 16561-16569
Keywords General Chemical Engineering; General Chemistry
Public URL
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