Illuminating Cell Signaling with Near-Infrared Light-Responsive Nanomaterials. uri icon


  • 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/-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.

altmetric score

  • 6.1

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, Y., Huang, L., Li, Z., Ma, G., Zhou, Y., & Han, G.

citation count

  • 68

complete list of authors

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