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Nanoparticles Improve Biological Functions of Phthalocyanine Photosensitizers Used for Photodynamic Therapy

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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.
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Keywords: Langmuir-Blodgett films; Nanobiotechnology; Photodynamic; Photodynamic therapy; Photosensitizers; Phthalocyanin; Therapy; drug delivery; modalities; nanocarriers; nanoparticles; pharmacokinetics; phthalocyanine photosensitizers

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2012

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  • Current Drug Metabolism aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in drug metabolism and disposition. The journal serves as an international forum for the publication of timely reviews in drug metabolism. Current Drug Metabolism is an essential journal for academic, clinical, government and pharmaceutical scientists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments. The journal covers the following areas:

    In vitro systems including CYP-450; enzyme induction and inhibition; drug-drug interactions and enzyme kinetics; pharmacokinetics, toxicokinetics, species scaling and extrapolations; P-glycoprotein and transport carriers; target organ toxicity and interindividual variability; drug metabolism and disposition studies; extrahepatic metabolism; phase I and phase II metabolism; recent developments for the identification of drug metabolites and adducts.
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