Photonics in Drug Delivery

  • Anna Karewicz
  • Dorota Lachowicz
  • Aneta Pietraszek
Part of the Micro- and Opto-Electronic Materials, Structures, and Systems book series (MOEM)


This chapter is focused on the application of photonics in medicine, namely, in the systems designed to facilitate delivery of bioactive agents (drugs, photosensitizers). The introduction of the carrier into such systems allows to increase their efficiency, to reduce side-effects and to precisely control the dose, the place and time of delivery inside the patient’s body. Three main aspects of the problem are analysed in this chapter: (1) using light-sensitive probes to study pharmacokinetics of drugs; (2) the choice of the application route for the photosensitizers used in photodynamic therapy (PDT), including prodrugs, micelles, inorganic and hybrid nanoparticles and virus capsids; and (3) achieving targeted delivery and precise control over the release profiles by the application of the systems containing photoresponsive carriers. The basic mechanisms of the photophysical and photochemical processes involved are discussed, including PDT, photoinduced NO delivery and light-triggered release of drugs from liposomes, prodrugs and other specific systems. The most interesting examples are described, and the advantages and limitations of using various systems are discussed.


Photo-imaging agents Photosensitizers Photoresponsive carriers Photoinduced delivery Nitric oxide 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Karewicz
    • 1
  • Dorota Lachowicz
    • 2
  • Aneta Pietraszek
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryJagiellonian UniversityCracowPoland
  2. 2.AGH University of Science and TechnologyCracowPoland

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