Nitric oxide-sensing actuators for modulating structure in lipid-based liquid crystalline drug delivery systems

Qingtao Liu, Jinming Hu, Michael R. Whittaker, Thomas P. Davis, Ben J. Boyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Herein we report on the development of a nitric oxide-sensing lipid-based liquid crystalline (LLC) system specifically designed to release encapsulated drugs on exposure to NO through a stimulated phase change. A series of nitric oxide (NO)-sensing lipids compatible with phytantriol and GMO cubic phases were designed and synthesized, and utilized in enabling nitric oxide-sensing LLC systems. The nitric oxide (NO)-sensing lipids react with nitric oxide, resulting in hydrolysis of these lipids and phase transition of the LLC system. Specifically, the N-3-aminopyridinyl myristylamine (NAPyM) + phytantriol mixture formed a lamellar phase in excess aqueous environment. The NAPyM + phytantriol LLC responded to the nitric oxide gas as a chemical stimulus which triggers a phase transition from lamellar phase to inverse cubic and hexagonal phase. The nitric oxide-triggered phase transition of the LLC accelerated the release of encapsulated model drug from the LLC bulk phase, resulting in a 15-fold increase in the diffusion coefficient compared to the starting lamellar structure. The nitric oxide-sensing LLC system has potential application in the development of smart medicines to treat nitric oxide implicated diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-524
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2017


  • Cubic phase
  • Drug release
  • Liquid crystal
  • Nitric oxide
  • Stimuli responsive

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