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Keywords:

  • drug release;
  • tumour hypoxia;
  • activatable phototrigger;
  • two-photon NIR;
  • coumarin
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

An ultimately selective photorelease system of chitosan-nanoparticles is constructed. Only under unique aspects of tumor-hypoxia physiological conditions, the preliminary locked phototrigger is unlocked by biological reduction to enable the release of the caged drug either by visible light or two-photon near-IR (NIR) excitation. This approach provides a highly discriminating photorelease of anticancer drug to hypoxic tumor cells, but not to healthy normal cells.