Neurotransmitter-Loaded Nanocapsule Triggers On-Demand Muscle Relaxation in Living Organism

Duc Long Le, Ferdinandus, Chin Kiat Tnee, T. Thang Vo Doan, Satoshi Arai, Madoka Suzuki, Keitaro Sou*, Hirotaka Sato

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports the on-demand artificial muscle relaxation using a thermosensitive liposome encapsulating γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) inhibitory neurotransmitter. Muscle relaxation is not feasible in principle, although muscle contraction can be easily induced by electrical stimulation. Herein, thermosensitive liposomes (phase transition temperature = 40 °C) were synthesized to encapsulate GABA and were injected into a leg of a living beetle. The leg was wrapped around by a Ni-Cr wire heater integrated with a thermocouple to enable the feedback control and to manipulate the leg temperature. The injected leg was temporarily immobilized by heating it up to 45 °C. The leg did not swing even by electrically stimulating the leg muscle. Subsequently, the leg recovered to swing. The result indicates that GABA was released from liposomes and fed to the leg muscle, enabling temporal muscle relaxation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37812-37819
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number44
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov 7


  • drug delivery
  • functional electrical stimulation
  • liposome
  • muscle contraction
  • neurotransmitter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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