Nanoparticles Improve Biological Functions of Phthalocyanine Photosensitizers Used for Photodynamic Therapy
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a new technology using photodynamic effect for disease diagnosis and treatment. It is a twostep
technique involving the uptake of a photosensitizer by cancer tissue followed by light irradiation that excites the photosensitizer to
produce highly reactive oxygen species, the latter execute apoptosis of cancerous cells. As a second-generation of photosensitizers,
phthalocyanine demonstrates higher absorption in the 650-800nm range and short tissue accumulation compared to their first generation.
However, many potent phthalocyanine photosensitizers are hydrophobic and poorly water-soluble, which limit their therapeutic applications.
As a result, advanced delivery systems and different strategies are called for to improve the effectiveness of PDT. Facts have
proved that using nanoparticles as carries of photosensitizers is a very promising route. Nanoparticles have the potentials to increase photosensitizers’
aqueous solubility, bioavailability and stability, and deliver photosensitizers to the target tissues. This article reviewed the
commonly-used nanoparticles, including colloid gold, quantum dots, paramagnetic nanoparticles, silica-based materials, polymer-based
nanoparticles, as potential delivery systems for phthalocyanine photosensitizers, and summarized the improved biological functions of
phthalocyanine photosensitizers in PDT.
Keywords: Photodynamic therapy, phthalocyanine photosensitizers, nanoparticles, nanocarriers, drug delivery, Phthalocyanin, Photosensitizers, Photodynamic, Therapy, Nanobiotechnology, Langmuir-Blodgett films, pharmacokinetics, modalities.
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