A photoresponsive nano drug delivery system


This invention is about a novel photoresponsive nanocarrier self-assembled from three-legged small molecules. It could be used in on-demond delivery of different drugs to target sites with light triggering.

  • A photoresponsive nano drug delivery system
Commercialisation opportunities
collaboration project, licensing
Problem addressed

The conventional photoresponsive system is generally complicated leading to high cost and difficulty in clinical translation. Moreover, the activation light usually has poor tissue penetration ability.

  • A small clathrin-like (three-legged) photocleavable molecule that can self-assemble into nanoparticles is developed.
Key impact
  • The synthesis is simple. The nanoparticles can be conventiently constructed via one-step self-assembly in water.
  • It is sensitive to light triggering leading to fast drug release.
  • It is proved that the nanocarrier can achieve on-demond drug accumulation leading to promising anti-retinoblastoma effect.
  • It offers an effective drug administration route in a less invasive manner, which is desirable for the treatment of eye diseases.
  • Gold Medal at the 2022 Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions
  • Eye diseases, e.g. retinoblastoma, age-related macular degeneration
  • Skin diseases, e.g. basal cell carcinoma
  • Upper or lower gastrointestinal tract diseases, e.g. colon cancer


  • PCT/CN2021/081262
The University of Hong Kong (HKU)

Founded in 1911, The University of Hong Kong (HKU) is the first and oldest institution of higher education in Hong Kong. For over a century, the University has dedicated itself to creating knowledge, providing education, and serving society. Today, HKU has an established worldwide reputation for being a research-led comprehensive University with ten Faculties and a strong commitment to intellectual freedom, liberty and diversity. HKU has a proud record of academic recognition in researches through honours and awards received from both local and international bodies.