We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Near infrared light activates molecular nanomachines to drill into and kill cells.

Liu, Dongdong and García-López, Víctor and Gunasekera, Richard S. and Greer Nilewski, Lizanne and Alemany, Lawrence B. and Aliyan, Amir and Jin, Tao and Wang, Gufeng and Tour, James M. and Pal, Robert (2019) 'Near infrared light activates molecular nanomachines to drill into and kill cells.', ACS nano., 13 (6). pp. 6813-6823.


Using two-photon excitation (2PE), molecular nanomachines (MNMs) are able to drill through cell membranes and kill the cells. This avoids the use of the more damaging ultraviolet (UV) light that has been used formerly to induce this nanomechanical cell-killing effect. Since 2PE is inherently confocal, enormous precision can be realized. The MNMs can be targeted to specific cell surfaces through peptide addends. Further, the efficacy was verified through controlled opening of synthetic bilayer vesicles using the 2PE excitation of MNM that had been trapped within the vesicles.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in ACS nano copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see
Date accepted:21 May 2019
Date deposited:24 May 2019
Date of first online publication:22 May 2019
Date first made open access:22 May 2020

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar