The aim of this research is to provide proof of principle by applying the fiber-optic triggered release of photo-thermally responsive liposomes embedded with gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) using a 200 μm fiber with 65 mW and 532 nm excitation for topical release in vivo. The tunable delivery function can be paired with an apoptosis biosensor based on the same fiber-optic configuration for providing real-time evaluation of chemotherapy efficacy in vivo to perform as a personalized chemotherapy system. The pattern of topical release triggered by laser excitation conveyed through optical fibers was monitored by the increase in fluorescence resulting from the dilution of self-quenching (75 mM) fluorescein encapsulated in liposomes. In in vitro studies (in 37°C phosphate buffer saline), the AuNP-embedded liposomes showed a more efficient triggered release (74.53%±1.63% in 40 minutes) than traditional temperature-responsive liposomes without AuNPs (14.53%±3.17%) or AuNP-liposomes without excitation (21.92%±2.08%) by spectroscopic measurements. Using the mouse xenograft studies, we first demonstrated that the encapsulation of fluorescein in liposomes resulted in a more substantial content retention (81%) in the tumor than for free fluorophores (14%) at 120 minutes after administration from in vivo fluorescence imaging. Furthermore, the preliminary results also suggested the tunable release capability of the system by demonstrating consecutive triggered releases with fiber-optic guided laser excitation.
Keywords: fiber-optic guided excitation; gold nanoparticles; light excitation triggered release; photo-thermal responsive liposome; tunable release in vivo.