Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 14

Search results for: photo-sensitizer

14 [email protected]:TB3+ – Rb Nanocomposites for Deep-Seated X-Ray Induced Photodynamic Therapy in Oncology

Authors: E.A. Kuchma


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is considered an alternative and minimally invasive cancer treatment modality compared to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. PDT includes three main components: a photosensitizer (PS), oxygen, and a light source. PS is injected into the patient's body and then selectively accumulates in the tumor. However, the light used in PDT (spectral range 400–700 nm) is limited to superficial lesions, and the light penetration depth does not exceed a few cm. The problem of PDT (poor visible light transmission) can be solved by using X-rays. The penetration depth of X-rays is ten times greater than that of visible light. Therefore, X-ray radiation easily penetrates through the tissues of the body. The aim of this work is to develop universal nanocomposites for X-ray photodynamic therapy of deep and superficial tumors using scintillation nanoparticles of gadolinium fluoride (GdF3), doped with Tb3+, coated with a biocompatible coating (PEG) and photosensitizer RB (Rose Bengal). [email protected]:Tb3+(15%) – RB could be used as an effective X-ray, UV, and photoluminescent mediator to excite a photosensitizer for generating reactive oxygen species (ROS) to kill tumor cells via photodynamic therapy. GdF3 nanoparticles can also be used as contrast agents for computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Keywords: X-ray induced photodynamic therapy, scintillating nanoparticle, radiosensitizer, photosensitizer

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13 Microfluidic Based High Throughput Screening System for Photodynamic Therapy against Cancer Cells

Authors: Rina Lee, Chung-Hun Oh, Eunjin Lee, Jeongyun Kim


The Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment that uses a photosensitizer as a drug to damage and kill cancer cells. After injecting the photosensitizer into the bloodstream, the drug is absorbed by cancer cells selectively. Then the area to be treated is exposed to specific wavelengths of light and the photosensitizer produces a form of oxygen that kills nearby cancer cells. PDT is has an advantage to destroy the tumor with minimized side-effects on normal cells. But, PDT is not a completed method for cancer therapy. Because the mechanism of PDT is quite clear yet and the parameters such as intensity of light and dose of photosensitizer are not optimized for different types of cancers. To optimize these parameters, we suggest a novel microfluidic system to automatically control intensity of light exposure with a personal computer (PC). A polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microfluidic chip is composed with (1) a cell culture channels layer where cancer cells were trapped to be tested with various dosed photofrin (1μg/ml used for the test) as the photosensitizer and (2) a color dye layer as a neutral density (ND) filter to reduce intensity of light which exposes the cell culture channels filled with cancer cells. Eight different intensity of light (10%, 20%, …, 100%) are generated through various concentrations of blue dye filling the ND filter. As a light source, a light emitting diode (LED) with 635nm wavelength was placed above the developed PDMS microfluidic chip. The total time for light exposure was 30 minutes and HeLa and PC3 cell lines of cancer cells were tested. The cell viability of cells was evaluated with a Live/Dead assay kit (L-3224, Invitrogen, USA). The stronger intensity of light exposed, the lower viability of the cell was observed, and vice versa. Therefore, this system was demonstrated through investigating the PDT against cancer cell to optimize the parameters as critical light intensity and dose of photosensitizer. Our results suggest that the system can be used for optimizing the combinational parameters of light intensity and photosensitizer dose against diverse cancer cell types.

Keywords: photodynamic therapy, photofrin, high throughput screening, hela

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12 Synthesis and Photophysical Studies of BOPIDY Dyes Conjugated with 4-Benzyloxystyryl Substituents

Authors: Bokolombe Pitchou Ngoy, John Mack, Tebello Nyokong


Synthesis and photochemical studies of BODIPY dyes have been investigated in this work in order to have a broad benchmark of this functionalized photosensitizer for biological applications such as photodynamic therapy or antimicrobial activity. The common acid catalyzed synthetic method was used, and BODIPY dyes were obtained in quite a good yield (25 %) followed by bromination and Knoevenagel condensation to afford the BODIPY dyes conjugated with maximum absorbance in the near-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The fluorescence lifetimes, fluorescence quantum yield, and Singlet oxygen quantum yield of the conjugated BODIPY dyes were determined in different solvents by using Time Correlation Single Photon Counting (TCSPC), fluorimeter, and Laser Flash Photolysis respectively. It was clearly shown that the singlet oxygen quantum yield was higher in THF followed by DMSO compared to another solvent. The same trend was observed for the fluorescence lifetimes.

Keywords: BODIPY, photodynamic therapy, photosensitizer, singlet oxygen

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11 Functionalized Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes: Targeting, Cellular Uptake, and Applications in Photodynamic Therapy

Authors: Prabhavathi Sundaram, Heidi Abrahamse


In recent years, nanotechnology coupled with photodynamic therapy (PDT) has received considerable attention in terms of improving the effectiveness of drug delivery in cancer therapeutics. The development of functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) has become revolutionary in targeted photosensitizers delivery since it improves the therapeutic index of drugs. The objective of this study was to prepare, characterize and evaluate the potential of functionalized SWCNTs using hyaluronic acid and loading it with photosensitizer and to effectively target colon cancer cells. The single-walled carbon nanotubes were covalently functionalized with hyaluronic acid and the loaded photosensitizer by non-covalent interaction. The photodynamic effect of SWCNTs is detected under laser irradiation in vitro. The hyaluronic acid-functionalized nanocomposites had a good affinity with CD44 receptors, and it avidly binds on to the surface of CACO-2 cells. The cellular uptake of nanocomposites was studied using fluorescence microscopy using lyso tracker. The anticancer activity of nanocomposites was analyzed in CACO-2 cells using different studies such as cell morphology, cell apoptosis, and nuclear morphology. The combined effect of nanocomposites and PDT improved the therapeutic effect of cancer treatment. The study suggested that the nanocomposites and PDT have great potential in the treatment of colon cancer.

Keywords: colon cancer, hyaluronic acid, single walled carbon nanotubes, photosensitizers, photodynamic therapy

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10 Biosynthesis of a Nanoparticle-Antibody Phthalocyanine Photosensitizer for Use in Targeted Photodynamic Therapy of Cervical Cancer

Authors: Elvin P. Chizenga, Heidi Abrahamse


Cancer cell resistance to therapy is the main cause of treatment failures and the poor prognosis of cancer convalescence. The progression of cervical cancer to other parts of the genitourinary system and the reported recurrence rates are overwhelming. Current treatments, including surgery, chemo and radiation have been inefficient in eradicating the tumor cells. These treatments are also associated with poor prognosis and reduced quality of life, including fertility loss. This has inspired the need for the development of new treatment modalities to eradicate cervical cancer successfully. Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a modern treatment modality that induces cell death by photochemical interactions of light and a photosensitizer, which in the presence of molecular oxygen, yields a set of chemical reactions that generate Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and other free radical species causing cell damage. Enhancing PDT using modified drug delivery can increase the concentration of the photosensitizer in the tumor cells, and this has the potential to maximize its therapeutic efficacy. In cervical cancer, all infected cells constitutively express genes of the E6 and E7 HPV viral oncoproteins, resulting in high concentrations of E6 and E7 in the cytoplasm. This provides an opportunity for active targeting of cervical cancer cells using immune-mediated drug delivery to maximize therapeutic efficacy. The use of nanoparticles in PDT has also proven effective in enhancing therapeutic efficacy. Gold nanoparticles (AuNps) in particular, are explored for their use in biomedicine due to their biocompatibility, low toxicity, and enhancement of drug uptake by tumor cells. In this present study, a biomolecule comprising of AuNPs, anti-E6 monoclonal antibodies, and Aluminium Phthalocyanine photosensitizer was synthesized for use in targeted PDT of cervical cancer. The AuNp-Anti-E6-Sulfonated Aluminium Phthalocyanine mix (AlPcSmix) photosensitizing biomolecule was synthesized by coupling AuNps and anti-E6 monoclonal antibodies to the AlPcSmix via Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) chemical links. The final product was characterized using Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM), Zeta Potential, Uv-Vis Spectrophotometry, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), and X-ray diffraction (XRD), to confirm its chemical structure and functionality. To observe its therapeutic role in treating cervical cancer, cervical cancer cells, HeLa cells were seeded in 3.4 cm² diameter culture dishes at a concentration of 5x10⁵ cells/ml, in vitro. The cells were treated with varying concentrations of the photosensitizing biomolecule and irradiated using a 673.2 nm wavelength of laser light. Post irradiation cellular responses were performed to observe changes in morphology, viability, proliferation, cytotoxicity, and cell death pathways induced. Dose-Dependent response of the cells to treatment was demonstrated as significant morphologic changes, increased cytotoxicity, and decreased cell viability and proliferation This study presented a synthetic biomolecule for targeted PDT of cervical cancer. The study suggested that PDT using this AuNp- Anti-E6- AlPcSmix photosensitizing biomolecule is a very effective treatment method for the eradication of cervical cancer cells, in vitro. Further studies in vivo need to be conducted to support the use of this biomolecule in treating cervical cancer in clinical settings.

Keywords: anti-E6 monoclonal antibody, cervical cancer, gold nanoparticles, photodynamic therapy

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9 Entropically Favoured Through Space Charge Transfer ‘Lighted’ Photosensitizing Assemblies for ‘Metal Free’ Regulated Photooxidation of Alcohols and Aldehydes

Authors: Gurpreet Kaur, Manoj Kumar, Vandana Bhalla


Strong acceptor-weak acceptor system FN-TPy has been designed and synthesized which undergoes solvent dependent self-assembly in mixed aqueous media to generate through space intermolecular charge transfer assemblies. The as prepared entropically favoured assemblies of FN-TPy exhibit excellent photostability and photosensitizing properties in the assembled state to activate aerial oxygen for efficient generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) through Type-I and Type-II pathways. The FN-TPy assemblies exhibit excellent potential for regulated oxidation of alcohols and aldehydes under mild reaction conditions (visible light irradiation, aqueous media, room temperature) using aerial oxygen as the ‘oxidant’. The present study demonstrates the potential of FN-TPy assemblies to catalyze controlled oxidation of benzyl alcohol to benzaldehyde and to corresponding benzoic acid.

Keywords: oxidations, photosensitizer, reactive oxygen species, supramolecular assemblies, through space charge transfer.

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8 Photobleaching Kinetics and Epithelial Distribution of Hexylaminoleuilinate Induced PpIX in Rat Bladder Cancer

Authors: Sami El Khatib, Agnès Leroux, Jean-Louis Merlin, François Guillemin, Marie-Ange D’Hallewin


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment modality based on the cytotoxic effect occurring on the target tissues by interaction of a photosensitizer with light in the presence of oxygen. One of the major advances in PDT can be attributed to the use of topical aminolevulinic (ALA) to induce Protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) for the treatment of early stage cancers as well as diagnosis. ALA is a precursor of the heme synthesis pathway. Locally delivered to the target tissue ALA overcomes the negative feedback exerted by heme and promotes the transient formation of PpIX in situ to reach critical effective levels in cells and tissue. Whereas early steps of the heme pathway occur in the cytosol, PpIX synthesis is shown to be held in the mitochondrial membranes and PpIX fluorescence is expected to accumulate in close vicinity of the initial building site and to progressively diffuse to the neighboring cytoplasmic compartment or other lipophylic organelles. PpIX is known to be highly reactive and will be degraded when irradiated with light. PpIX photobleaching is believed to be governed by a singlet oxygen mediated mechanism in the presence of oxidized amino acids and proteins. PpIX photobleaching and subsequent spectral phototransformation were described widely in tumor cells incubated in vitro with ALA solution, or ex vivo in human and porcine mucosa superfused with hexylaminolevulinate (hALA). PpIX photobleaching was also studied in vivo, using animal models such as normal or tumor mice skin and orthotopic rat bladder model. Hexyl aminolevulinate a more potent lipophilic derivative of ALA was proposed as an adjunct to standard cystoscopy in the fluorescence diagnosis of bladder cancer and other malignancies. We have previously reported the effectiveness of hALA mediated PDT of rat bladder cancer. Although normal and tumor bladder epithelium exhibit similar fluorescence intensities after intravesical instillation of two hALA concentrations (8 and 16 mM), the therapeutic response at 8mM and 20J/cm2 was completely different from the one observed at 16mM irradiated with the same light dose. Where the tumor is destroyed, leaving the underlying submucosa and muscle intact after an 8 mM instillation, 16mM sensitization and subsequent illumination results in the complete destruction of the underlying bladder wall but leaves the tumor undamaged. The object of the current study is to try to unravel the underlying mechanism for this apparent contradiction. PpIX extraction showed identical amounts of photosensitizer in tumor bearing bladders at both concentrations. Photobleaching experiments revealed mono-exponential decay curves in both situations but with a two times faster decay constant in case of 16mM bladders. Fluorescence microscopy shows an identical fluorescence pattern for normal bladders at both concentrations and tumor bladders at 8mM with bright spots. Tumor bladders at 16 mM exhibit a more diffuse cytoplasmic fluorescence distribution. The different response to PDT with regard to the initial pro-drug concentration can thus be attributed to the different cellular localization.

Keywords: bladder cancer, hexyl-aminolevulinate, photobleaching, confocal fluorescence microscopy

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7 Nanoscale Metal-Organic Framework Coated Carbon Nitride Nanosheet for Combination Cancer Therapy

Authors: Rui Chen, Jinfeng Zhang, Chun-Sing Lee


In the past couple of decades, nanoscale metal-organic frameworks (NMOFs) have been highlighted as promising delivery platforms for biomedical applications, which combine many potent features such as high loading capacity, progressive biodegradability and low cytotoxicity. While NMOF has been extensively used as carriers for drugs of different modalities, so far there is no report on exploiting the advantages of NMOF for combination therapy. Herein, we prepared core-shell nanoparticles, where each nanoparticle contains a single graphitic-phase carbon nitride (g-C3N4) nanosheet encapsulated by a zeolitic-imidazolate frameworks-8 (ZIF-8) shell. The g-C3N4 nanosheets are effective visible-light photosensitizer for photodynamic therapy (PDT). When hosting DOX (doxorubicin), the as-synthesized core-shell nanoparticles could realize combinational photo-chemo therapy and provide dual-color fluorescence imaging. Therefore, we expect NMOFs-based core-shell nanoparticles could provide a new way to achieve much-enhanced cancer therapy.

Keywords: carbon nitride, combination therapy, drug delivery, nanoscale metal-organic frameworks

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6 Preliminary dosimetric Evaluation of a New Therapeutic 177LU Complex for Human Based on Biodistribution Data in Rats

Authors: H. Yousefnia, S. Zolghadri, A. Golabi Dezfuli


Tris (1,10-phenanthroline) lanthanum(III)] trithiocyanate is a new compound that has shown to stop DNA synthesis in CCRF-CEM and Ehrlich ascites cells leading to a cell cycle arrest in G0/G1. One other important property of the phenanthroline nucleus is its ability to act as a triplet-state photosensitizer especially in complexes with lanthanides. In Nowadays, the radiation dose assessment resource (RADAR) method is known as the most common method for absorbed dose calculation. 177Lu was produced by irradiation of a natural Lu2O3 target at a thermal neutron flux of approximately 4 × 1013 n/cm2•s. 177Lu-PL3 was prepared in the optimized condition. The radiochemical yield was checked by ITLC method. The biodistribution of the complex was investigated by intravenously injection to wild-type rats via their tail veins. In this study, the absorbed dose of 177Lu-PL3 to human organs was estimated by RADAR method. 177Lu was prepared with a specific activity of 2.6-3 and radionuclide purity of 99.98 %. The 177Lu-PL3 complex can prepare with high radiochemical yield (> 99 %) at optimized conditions. The results show that liver and spleen have received the highest absorbed dose of 1.051 and 0.441 mSv/MBq, respectivley. The absorbed dose values for these two dose-limiting tissues suggest more biological studies special in tumor-bearing animals.

Keywords: internal dosimetry, Lutetium-177, radar, animals

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5 Synthesis and Surface Engineering of Lanthanide Nanoparticles for NIR Luminescence Imaging and Photodynamic Therapy

Authors: Syue-Liang Lin, C. Allen Chang


Luminescence imaging is an important technique used in biomedical research and clinical diagnostic applications in recent years. Concurrently, the development of NIR luminescence probes / imaging contrast agents has helped the understanding of the structural and functional properties of cells and animals. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is used clinically to treat a wide range of medical conditions, but the therapeutic efficacy of general PDT for deeper tumor was limited by the penetration of excitation source. The tumor targeting biomedical nanomaterials [email protected] (upconversion nanoparticle conjugated with photosensitizer) for photodynamic therapy and near-infrared imaging of cancer will be developed in our study. Synthesis and characterization of biomedical nanomaterials were completed in this studies. The spectrum of UCNP was characterized by photoluminescence spectroscopy and the morphology was characterized by Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM). TEM and XRD analyses indicated that these nanoparticles are about 20~50 nm with hexagonal phase. NaYF₄:Ln³⁺ (Ln= Yb, Nd, Er) upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) with core / shell structure, synthesized by thermal decomposition method in 300°C, have the ability to emit visible light (upconversion: 540 nm, 660 nm) and near-infrared with longer wavelength (downconversion: NIR: 980 nm, 1525 nm) by absorbing 800 nm NIR laser. The information obtained from these studies would be very useful for applications of these nanomaterials for bio-luminescence imaging and photodynamic therapy of deep tumor tissue in the future.

Keywords: Near Infrared (NIR), lanthanide, core-shell structure, upconversion, theranostics

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4 Ab-initio Calculations on the Mechanism of Action of Platinum and Ruthenium Complexes in Phototherapy

Authors: Eslam Dabbish, Fortuna Ponte, Stefano Scoditti, Emilia Sicilia, Gloria Mazzone


The medical techniques based on the use of light for activating the drug are occupying a prominent place in the cancer treatment due to their selectivity that contributes to reduce undesirable side effects of conventional chemotherapy. Among these therapeutic treatments, photodynamic therapy (PDT) and photoactivated chemotherapy (PACT) are emerging as complementary approaches for selective destruction of neoplastic tissue through direct cellular damage. Both techniques rely on the employment of a molecule, photosensitizer (PS), able to absorb within the so-called therapeutic window. Thus, the exposure to light of otherwise inert molecules promotes the population of excited states of the drug, that in PDT are able to produce the cytotoxic species, such as 1O2 and other ROS, in PACT can be responsible of the active species release or formation. Following the success of cisplatin in conventional treatments, many other transition metal complexes were explored as anticancer agents for applications in different medical approaches, including PDT and PACT, in order to improve their chemical, biological and photophysical properties. In this field, several crucial characteristics of candidate PSs can be accurately predicted from first principle calculations, especially in the framework of density functional theory and its time-dependent formulation, contributing to the understanding of the entire photochemical pathways involved which can ultimately help in improving the efficiency of a drug. A brief overview of the outcomes on some platinum and ruthenium-based PSs proposed for the application in the two phototherapies will be provided.

Keywords: TDDFT, metal complexes, PACT, PDT

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3 Upconversion Nanomaterials for Applications in Life Sciences and Medicine

Authors: Yong Zhang


Light has proven to be useful in a wide range of biomedical applications such as fluorescence imaging, photoacoustic imaging, optogenetics, photodynamic therapy, photothermal therapy, and light controlled drug/gene delivery. Taking photodynamic therapy (PDT) as an example, PDT has been proven clinically effective in early lung cancer, bladder cancer, head, and neck cancer and is the primary treatment for skin cancer as well. However, clinical use of PDT is severely constrained by the low penetration depth of visible light through thick tissue, limiting its use to target regions only a few millimeters deep. One way to enhance the range is to use invisible near-infrared (NIR) light within the optical window (700–1100nm) for biological tissues, extending the depth up to 1cm with no observable damage to the intervening tissue. We have demonstrated use of NIR-to-visible upconversion fluorescent nanoparticles (UCNPs), emitting visible fluorescence when excited by a NIR light at 980nm, as a nanotransducer for PDT to convert deep tissue-penetrating NIR light to visible light suitable for activating photosensitizers. The unique optical properties of UCNPs enable the upconversion wavelength to be tuned and matched to the activation absorption wavelength of the photosensitizer. At depths beyond 1cm, however, tissue remains inaccessible to light even within the NIR window, and this critical depth limitation renders existing phototherapy ineffective against most deep-seated cancers. We have demonstrated some new treatment modalities for deep-seated cancers based on UCNP hydrogel implants and miniaturized, wirelessly powered optoelectronic devices for light delivery to deep tissues.

Keywords: upconversion, fluorescent, nanoparticle, bioimaging, photodynamic therapy

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2 Preparation of Allyl BODIPY for the Click Reaction with Thioglycolic Acid

Authors: Chrislaura Carmo, Luca Deiana, Mafalda Laranjo, Abilio Sobral, Armando Cordova


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is currently used for the treatment of malignancies and premalignant tumors. It is based on the capture of a photosensitizing molecule (PS) which, when excited by light at a certain wavelength, reacts with oxygen and generates oxidizing species (radicals, singlet oxygen, triplet species) in target tissues, leading to cell death. BODIPY (4,4-difluoro-4-bora-3a,4a-diaza-s-indaceno) derivatives are emerging as important candidates for photosensitizer in photodynamic therapy of cancer cells due to their high triplet quantum yield. Today these dyes are relevant molecules in photovoltaic materials and fluorescent sensors. In this study, it will be demonstrated the possibility that BODIPY can be covalently linked to thioglycolic acid through the click reaction. Thiol−ene click chemistry has become a powerful synthesis method in materials science and surface modification. The design of biobased allyl-terminated precursors with high renewable carbon content for the construction of the thiol-ene polymer networks is essential for sustainable development and green chemistry. The work aims to synthesize the BODIPY (10-(4-(allyloxy) phenyl)-2,8-diethyl-5,5-difluoro-1,3,7,9-tetramethyl-5H-dipyrrolo[1,2-c:2',1'-f] [1,3,2] diazaborinin-4-ium-5-uide) and to click reaction with Thioglycolic acid. BODIPY was synthesized by the condensation reaction between aldehyde and pyrrole in dichloromethane, followed by in situ complexation with BF3·OEt2 in the presence of the base. Then it was functionalized with allyl bromide to achieve the double bond and thus be able to carry out the click reaction. The thiol−ene click was performed using DMPA (2,2-Dimethoxy-2-phenylacetophenone) as a photo-initiator in the presence of UV light (320–500 nm) in DMF at room temperature for 24 hours. Compounds were characterized by standard analytical techniques, including UV-Vis Spectroscopy, 1H, 13C, 19F NMR and mass spectroscopy. The results of this study will be important to link BODIPY to polymers through the thiol group offering a diversity of applications and functionalization. This new molecule can be tested as third-generation photosensitizers, in which the dye is targeted by antibodies or nanocarriers by cells, mainly in cancer cells, PDT and Photodynamic Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (PACT). According to our studies, it was possible to visualize a click reaction between allyl BODIPY and thioglycolic acid. Our team will also test the reaction with other thiol groups for comparison. Further, we will do the click reaction of BODIPY with a natural polymer linked with a thiol group. The results of the above compounds will be tested in PDT assays on various lung cancer cell lines.

Keywords: bodipy, click reaction, thioglycolic acid, allyl, thiol-ene click

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1 Vascular Targeted Photodynamic Therapy Monitored by Real-Time Laser Speckle Imaging

Authors: Ruth Goldschmidt, Vyacheslav Kalchenko, Lilah Agemy, Rachel Elmoalem, Avigdor Scherz


Vascular Targeted Photodynamic therapy (VTP) is a new modality for selective cancer treatment that leads to the complete tumor ablation. A photosensitizer, a bacteriochlorophyll derivative in our case, is first administered to the patient and followed by the illumination of the tumor area, by a near-IR laser for its photoactivation. The photoactivated drug releases reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the circulation, which reacts with blood cells and the endothelium leading to the occlusion of the blood vasculature. If the blood vessels are only partially closed, the tumor may recover, and cancer cells could survive. On the other hand, excessive treatment may lead to toxicity of healthy tissues nearby. Simultaneous VTP monitoring and image processing independent of the photoexcitation laser has not yet been reported, to our knowledge. Here we present a method for blood flow monitoring, using a real-time laser speckle imaging (RTLSI) in the tumor during VTP. We have synthesized over the years a library of bacteriochlorophyll derivatives, among them WST11 and STL-6014. Both are water soluble derivatives that are retained in the blood vasculature through their partial binding to HSA. WST11 has been approved in Mexico for VTP treatment of prostate cancer at a certain drug dose, and time/intensity of illumination. Application to other bacteriochlorophyll derivatives or other cancers may require different treatment parameters (such as light/drug administration). VTP parameters for STL-6014 are still under study. This new derivative mainly differs from WST11 by its lack of the central Palladium, and its conjugation to an Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) sequence. RGD is a tumor-specific ligand that is used for targeting the necrotic tumor domains through its affinity to αVβ3 integrin receptors. This enables the study of cell-targeted VTP. We developed a special RTLSI module, based on Labview software environment for data processing. The new module enables to acquire raw laser speckle images and calculate the values of the laser temporal statistics of time-integrated speckles in real time, without additional off-line processing. Using RTLSI, we could monitor the tumor’s blood flow following VTP in a CT26 colon carcinoma ear model. VTP with WST11 induced an immediate slow down of the blood flow within the tumor and a complete final flow arrest, after some sporadic reperfusions. If the irradiation continued further, the blood flow stopped also in the blood vessels of the surrounding healthy tissue. This emphasizes the significance of light dose control. Using our RTLSI system, we could prevent any additional healthy tissue damage by controlling the illumination time and restrict blood flow arrest within the tumor only. In addition, we found that VTP with STL-6014 was the most effective when the photoactivation was conducted 4h post-injection, in terms of tumor ablation success in-vivo and blood vessel flow arrest. In conclusion, RTSLI application should allow to optimize VTP efficacy vs. toxicity in both the preclinical and clinical arenas.

Keywords: blood vessel occlusion, cancer treatment, photodynamic therapy, real time imaging

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