The controlled release of encapsulated molecules from a microcapsule is a promising method of targeted drug delivery. Laser-triggered methods for the release of encapsulated molecules have the advantage of spatial and temporal controllability. In this study, we demonstrated the release of encapsulated molecules from biodegradable polymer-based microcapsules using near-infrared femtosecond laser pulses. The polylactic-co-glycolic acid microcapsules encapsulating fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran molecules were fabricated using a dual-coaxial nozzle system. Irradiation of femtosecond laser pulses enhanced the release of the molecules from the microcapsules, which was accompanied by a decrease in the residual ratio of the microcapsules. The laser-induced modification of the surface of the shell of the microcapsules indicated the potential for sustained release as well as burst release.
The use of small particles has expanded the capability of ultrashort pulsed laser optoinjection technology toward simultaneous treatment of multiple cells. The microfluidic platform is one of the attractive systems that has obtained synergy with laser-based technology for cell manipulation, including optoinjection. We have demonstrated the delivery of molecules into suspended-flowing cells in a microfluidic channel by using biodegradable polymer microspheres and a near-infrared femtosecond laser pulse. The use of polylactic-co-glycolic acid microspheres realized not only a higher optoinjection ratio compared to that with polylactic acid microspheres but also avoids optical damage to the microfluidic chip, which is attributable to its higher optical intensity enhancement at the localized spot under a microsphere. Interestingly, optoinjection ratios to nucleus showed a difference for adhered cells and suspended cells. The use of biodegradable polymer microspheres provides high throughput optoinjection; i.e., multiple cells can be treated in a short time, which is promising for various applications in cell analysis, drug delivery, and ex vivo gene transfection to bone marrow cells and stem cells without concerns about residual microspheres.