Theranostics 2013; 3(3):141-151. doi:10.7150/thno.5846


Towards Theranostic Multicompartment Microcapsules: in-situ Diagnostics and Laser-induced Treatment

Ranhua Xiong1, Stefaan J. Soenen1, Kevin Braeckmans1,2, Andre G. Skirtach2,3,4✉

1. Lab. of General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy, Ghent University, Ghent 9000, Belgium;
2. Centre for Nano-Bio (NB)-photonics, Ghent University, Ghent 9000, Belgium;
3. Department of Molecular Biotechnology, Ghent University, Ghent 9000, Belgium;
4. Max-Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Potsdam 14424 Germany.

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Xiong R, Soenen SJ, Braeckmans K, Skirtach AG. Towards Theranostic Multicompartment Microcapsules: in-situ Diagnostics and Laser-induced Treatment. Theranostics 2013; 3(3):141-151. doi:10.7150/thno.5846. Available from

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Paving the way towards the application of polyelectrolyte multilayer capsules in theranostics, we describe diagnostic multi-functionality and drug delivery using multicompartment polymeric capsules which represent the next generation of drug delivery carriers. Their versatility is particularly important for potential applications in the area of theranostics wherein the carriers are endowed with the functionality for both diagnostics and therapy. Responsiveness towards external stimuli is attractive for providing controlled and on-demand release of encapsulated materials. An overview of external stimuli is presented with an emphasis on light as a physical stimulus which has been widely used for activation of microcapsules and release of their contents. In this article we also describe existing and new approaches to build multicompartment microcapsules as well as means available to achieve controlled and triggered release from their subcompartments, with a focus on applications in theranostics. Outlook for future directions in the area are highlighted.

Keywords: theranostics, multicompartment, capsules, stimuli, laser, nanoplasmonics.