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Light-Responsive Drug Delivery System for Skin Cancer Holds Promise


The novel nanofiber-based system holds promise for future nanotech applications in health care, researchers claim.



Researchers in South Korea have developed a light-responsive drug delivery system (DDS) to treat skin cancer and other skin disorders.

The DDS uses “layer-by-layer assembled nanofibers [to] target skin cancer through a controlled and sequential drug release mechanism,” according to a press release from Sahmyook University in Seoul.1

Because it is a nanoplatform, the system offers numerous advantages, including increased bioavailability, lowered drug dosage, and improved biodistribution, the DDS developers claim.

Myoung-Hwan Park, associate professor of chemistry and life sciences at Sahmyook University, explained in the press release that the new technology “improves outcomes in cancer drug therapy by ensuring precise delivery at optimal dosages.”

“Conventional drugs can be efficiently delivered in a controlled manner through nano-engineered platforms, and such an approach increases the overall effectiveness of the treatment,” he said.

Park et al’s research findings were first published in the Journal of Drug Delivery Science and Technology in late 2023.2


The DDS the researchers tested was an “assembled nanofiber platform consisting of 2 different drugs: camptothecin (CPT) encapsulated in nanofibers and positively charged doxorubicin (DOX) in layers.”

“Gold nanorods with near-infrared (NIR) absorbance were inserted into the nanofibers to generate local heating via plasmon resonance upon exposure to NIR.”

Nanofibers offer advantages that improve drug delivery, according to the researchers, including:

  • Wide surface area
  • Interconnectedness
  • Porosity
  • Stability
  • Improved targeting
  • Minimal toxicity
  • High drug-loading ability
  • Entrapment of various drugs
  • Cell proliferation
  • Adhesion

The researchers determined the platform can effectively manage release rate and duration during administration of skin cancer drugs. Although the system is not ready for clinical use, Park et al believe it holds great promise for treating skin cancer and other skin diseases.

Park stated, “Our nanoplatform shows significant potential for real-life practical applications in the form of topical drug products for various skin disorders, such as psoriasis, skin cancer, skin wounds, bacterial and fungal infections. Accordingly, the integration of nanofibers with on-demand drug delivery systems can open up new possibilities for drug therapy.”


  1. Lights, cancer, action! SahmyookUniversity researchers develop a light-responsive novel drug delivery system against skin cancer. News release. Sahmyook University. January 18, 2024. Accessed January 25, 2024. https://www.syu.ac.kr/eng/lights-cancer-action-sahmyook-university-researchers-develop-a-light-responsive-novel-drug-delivery-system-against-skin-cancer/?bid=3151&bd=research-achievements
  2. Singh B,Yun S, Park M. Light-responsive layer-by-layer assembled nanofibers for sequential drug release. J Drug Deliv Sci Technol. 2023;(88):104910, SSN 1773-2247. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jddst.2023.104910
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