Graphene has recently emerged as a novel material in the biomedical field owing to its optical properties, biocompatibility, large specific surface area and low cost. In this paper, we provide the first demonstration of the possibility of using light to remotely trigger the release of drugs from graphene in a highly controlled manner. Different drugs including chemotherapeutics and proteins are firmly adsorbed onto reduced graphene oxide (rGO) nanosheets dispersed in a biopolymer film and then released by individual millisecond-long light pulses generated by a near infrared (NIR) laser. Here graphene plays the dual role of a versatile substrate for temporary storage of drugs and an effective transducer of NIR-light into heat. Drug release appears to be narrowly confined within the size of the laser spot under noninvasive conditions and can be precisely dosed depending on the number of pulses. The approach proposed paves the way for tailor-made pharmacological treatments of chronic diseases, including cancer, anaemia and diabetes.

http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2014/nr/c4nr01622j#!divAbstract