Building additional functionality into both the membrane and the internal compartments of biocompatible liposomes by self-assembly can provide ways of enhancing colloidal stability and spatial and temporal control of contents release. An interdigitation-fusion process is used to encapsulate near infrared light absorbing copper sulfide nanoparticles in the interior compartments of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine and dipalmitoylphosphatidylglycerol liposomes. Once formed, the liposome membrane is modified to include lysolipids and polyethylene glycol lipids by partitioning from lysolipid and PEG-lipid micelles in solution. This results in sterically stable, thermosensitive liposomes with a permeability transition near physiological temperature that can be triggered by NIR light irradiation. Rapid changes in local concentration can be induced with spatial and temporal control using NIR laser light.