Theranostics 2019; 9(11):3308-3340. doi:10.7150/thno.33888 This issue


Precise cell behaviors manipulation through light-responsive nano-regulators: recent advance and perspective

Do Cong Thang2, Zhimin Wang2, Xiaoling Lu3, Bengang Xing1,2✉

1. Sino-Singapore International Joint Research Institute (SSIJRI), Guangzhou 510000, China.
2. Division of Chemistry and Biological Chemistry, School of Physical & Mathematical Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637371, Singapore
3. International Nanobody Research Center of Guangxi, Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi, 530021, China

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Thang DC, Wang Z, Lu X, Xing B. Precise cell behaviors manipulation through light-responsive nano-regulators: recent advance and perspective. Theranostics 2019; 9(11):3308-3340. doi:10.7150/thno.33888. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Nanotechnology-assisted spatiotemporal manipulation of biological events holds great promise in advancing the practice of precision medicine in healthcare systems. The progress in internal and/or external stimuli-responsive nanoplatforms for highly specific cellular regulations and theranostic controls offer potential clinical translations of the revolutionized nanomedicine. To successfully implement this new paradigm, the emerging light-responsive nanoregulators with unparalleled precise cell functions manipulation have gained intensive attention, providing UV-Vis light-triggered photocleavage or photoisomerization studies, as well as near-infrared (NIR) light-mediated deep-tissue applications for stimulating cellular signal cascades and treatment of mortal diseases. This review discusses current developments of light-activatable nanoplatforms for modulations of various cellular events including neuromodulations, stem cell monitoring, immunomanipulation, cancer therapy, and other biological target intervention. In summary, the propagation of light-controlled nanomedicine would place a bright prospect for future medicine.