Physical drug delivery methods are a promising platform to overcome the selectivity of the cell membrane. Physical forces create transient disruptions in cell membranes, consequently driving drug molecules into the cytosol. A novel laser-mediated method of drug delivery has shown improved efficacy of intracellular delivery compared to other physical methods. When carbon black nanoparticles in suspension with cancer cells and extracellular molecules are exposed to nanosecond-pulsed laser light, high uptake and cell viability are observed1,2.
Laser-irradiated carbon catalyzes a series of energy transductions in the form of short and long-range thermal and acoustic stresses, phenomena called transient nanoparticle energy transduction (TNET). TNET is responsible for permeabilization of the cell membrane and the subsequent bioeffects of high viability and high drug uptake. An interdisciplinary effort between the lab’s of Dr. Naresh Thadhani (MSE) and Dr. Mark Prausnitz (ChBE) was fostered to approach TNET from unique perspectives. The overall objective of this work is to investigate the mechanisms which enable TNET to achieve efficacious delivery. A fundamental understanding of TNET is integral to improve the therapeutic efficacy of this system, in order to incorporate it in future in vivo and possible clinical applications.
 Chakravarty, P., Qian, W., El-Sayed, M. & Prausnitz, M. R. Delivery of molecules into cells using carbon nanoparticles activated by femtosecond laser pulses. Nat. Nanotechnol. (2010).
 Sengupta, A., Kelly, S. C., Dwivedi, N., Thadhani, N. N. & Prausnitz, M. R. Efficient Intracellular Delivery of Molecules with High Cell Viability Using Nanosecond-Pulsed Laser-Activated Carbon Nanoparticles. ACS Nano (2014).