Light is a particularly appealing tool for on-demand drug delivery due to its noninvasive nature, ease of application and exquisite temporal and spatial control. Great progress has been achieved in the development of novel light-driven drug delivery strategies with both breadth and depth. Light-controlled drug delivery platforms can be generally categorized into three groups: photochemical, photothermal, and photoisomerization-mediated therapies. Various advanced materials, such as metal nanoparticles, metal sulfides and oxides, metal-organic frameworks, carbon nanomaterials, upconversion nanoparticles, semiconductor nanoparticles, stimuli-responsive micelles, polymer- and liposome-based nanoparticles have been applied for light-stimulated drug delivery. In view of the increasing interest in on-demand targeted drug delivery, we review the development of light-responsive systems with a focus on recent advances, key limitations, and future directions.
Keywords: Light; drug delivery; photochemical; photoisomerization; photothermal.