The achievement of nanovehicles able to release therapeutic agents in a controlled fashion is a major challenge in the burgeoning field of nanomedicine. Light represents the most elegant and non-invasive trigger to deliver bio-active compounds on demand since it allows the accurate control of three key factors determining the positive therapeutic outcome such as site, timing and dosage. Monomeric and aggregate forms of both natural and modified cyclodextrins (CDs) offer useful biocompatible scaffolds to bind suitable phototherapeutic agents preserving, in most cases, their photochemical properties. In this contribution we shall illustrate some representative examples of photoresponsive CD-bared nanoassemblies achieved in others and our laboratories in recent years, underlying the logical design and highlighting the potential applications in some major areas, such as photodynamic, photothermal and nitric oxide-stimulated therapy.
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