Illuminating Cell Signaling with Near-Infrared Light-Responsive Nanomaterials

Yuanwei Zhang, Ling Huang, Zhanjun Li, Guolin Ma, Yubin Zhou, Gang Han

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


The regulation of cellular signaling in vivo has been a challenging task owing to the lack of effective methods for tunable control of the amplitude, location, and duration of cell-signaling events at a deep-tissue level. In this issue of ACS Nano, an intriguing paper by Ambrosone et al. demonstrates that deep-tissue-penetrating near-infrared (NIR) light can be used to control the Wnt/β-catenin-signaling pathway in a single-cell organism (Hydra) by utilizing microcapsules that contain plasmonic gold nanoparticles. In parallel, in recent work, we proposed upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) as NIR-light-activatable "wireless" optogenetic tools, and we showed their ability to modulate cell signaling pathways in both mammalian cells and mice. We believe that these interesting NIR-light-responsive nanotechnologies will open new avenues for both basic research and clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3881-3885
Number of pages5
JournalACS Nano
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 26 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Illuminating Cell Signaling with Near-Infrared Light-Responsive Nanomaterials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this