Controlled gene and drug release from a liposomal delivery platform triggered by X-ray radiation

Wei Deng*, Wenjie Chen, Sandhya Clement, Anna Guller, Zhenjun Zhao, Alexander Engel, Ewa M. Goldys

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


Liposomes have been well established as an effective drug delivery system, due to simplicity of their preparation and unique characteristics. However conventional liposomes are unsuitable for the on-demand content release, which limits their therapeutic utility. Here we report X-ray-triggerable liposomes incorporating gold nanoparticles and photosensitizer verteporfin. The 6 MeV X-ray radiation induces verteporfin to produce singlet oxygen, which destabilises the liposomal membrane and causes the release of cargos from the liposomal cavity. This triggering strategy is demonstrated by the efficiency of gene silencing in vitro and increased effectiveness of chemotherapy in vivo. Our work indicates the feasibility of a combinatorial treatment and possible synergistic effects in the course of standard radiotherapy combined with chemotherapy delivered via X-ray-triggered liposomes. Importantly, our X-ray-mediated liposome release strategy offers prospects for deep tissue photodynamic therapy, by removing its depth limitation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2713
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2018

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