Nucleic acid drugs, such as mRNA and siRNA, have recently been attracting attention, and are promising as drugs that will support the next generation of medicine. For RNA, to act specifically DDS at the target site as a medicine, an efficient method of RNA delivery into the target cells is important. In this review, we focus on target-specific RNA delivery using light, which is one of the various targeting strategies. Specifically, we discuss the use of carriers that deliver RNAs into the cytoplasm via photochemical internalization(PCI)or photothermal mechanisms. These carriers facilitate RNA delivery into the cytoplasm only in target cells irradiated with light, allowing RNA drugs to act target-specifically. Although this special issue is focused on mRNA therapeutics, there are very few reports on light-responsive mRNA delivery. In contrast, there are many reports of light-responsive delivery of small RNA, such as siRNA and miRNA. Thus, this review focuses on examples of small-RNA delivery systems that will be diverted to mRNA delivery in the near future. A few examples of light-responsive mRNA delivery are also described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-236
Number of pages8
JournalDrug Delivery System
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Photochemical internalization
  • RNA delivery
  • photothermal mechanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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