The physics, biophysics and technology of photodynamic therapy

  title={The physics, biophysics and technology of photodynamic therapy},
  author={Brian C. Wilson and Michael S. Patterson},
  journal={Physics in Medicine \& Biology},
  pages={R61 - R109}
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) uses light-activated drugs to treat diseases ranging from cancer to age-related macular degeneration and antibiotic-resistant infections. This paper reviews the current status of PDT with an emphasis on the contributions of physics, biophysics and technology, and the challenges remaining in the optimization and adoption of this treatment modality. A theme of the review is the complexity of PDT dosimetry due to the dynamic nature of the three essential components—light… 

Photodynamic Therapy: Current Status and Future Directions

The relationship between the structure and physicochemical properties of a PS, its cellular uptake and subcellular localization, and its effect on PDT outcome and efficacy are discussed.

Physics of Photodynamic Therapy

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) uses light-activated drugs (photosensitizers) for the treatment of neoplastic and non-neoplastic diseases. Administration of the photosensitizer constitutes the first step

Photodynamic Therapy for the Treatment and Diagnosis of Cancer–A Review of the Current Clinical Status

A general overview of the clinical applications of PDT in cancer, including the diagnostic and therapeutic approaches is provided, and combination of PDT with other therapy modalities such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery and immunotherapy will be emphasized, since such approaches seem to be promising in terms of enhancing effectiveness against tumor.

Photodynamic therapy: oncologic

Current research and outcomes from the basic science and clinical applications of oncologic PDT are highlighted and how these findings may lead to enhanced and refined future PDT is interpreted.

Molecular photosensitisers for two-photon photodynamic therapy.

The engineering of molecular two-photon photosensitisers for PDT should bring important benefits to the treatment, increase the treatment penetration depth with near-infrared light excitation, improve the spatial selectivity and reduce the photodamage to healthy tissues.

Photodynamic therapy: oncologic horizons.

Current research and outcomes from the basic science and clinical applications of oncologic PDT are highlighted and how these findings may lead to enhanced and refined future PDT is interpreted.

Numerical modelling of photodynamic therapy

A simulation model utilising the primary processes that the photosensitiser undergoes in the presence of irradiating light and molecular oxygen is implemented, encouraging predictive statements to be made regarding the efficiency of photodynamic modalities at various initial conditions, including PS concentration and tissue oxygen concentration.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) of cancer: from local to systemic treatment.

  • J. DąbrowskiL. Arnaut
  • Biology
    Photochemical & photobiological sciences : Official journal of the European Photochemistry Association and the European Society for Photobiology
  • 2015
A multidisciplinary view of the issues raised by the development of PDT is presented, showing how spectroscopy, photophysics, photochemistry and pharmacokinetics of photosensitizers determine the mechanism of cell death and clinical protocols.



Quantitative In Vitro Demonstration of Two‐Photon Photodynamic Therapy Using Photofrin® and Visudyne®

Two‐photon excitation may minimize collateral damage to healthy tissues that have absorbed the drug and lie in the beam path, and enable spatial confinement of the photosensitizer activation.

Photodynamic Therapy Targeted to Pathogens

This work has used genetically modified bioluminescent bacteria to follow the effect of PDT in infected wounds, burns, and soft tissue infections in mice and found that mice were saved from death due to sepsis and wound healing was improved.

Synthesis, characterization, and preclinical studies of two-photon-activated targeted PDT therapeutic triads

New porphyrins that have greatly enhanced two-photon absorption cross-sections and can be activated deep in the NIR (ca. 780-850 nm) are developed and incorporated into a therapeutic triad that also employs an small molecule targeting agent that directs the triad to over-expressed tumor receptor sites, and a NIR onephoton imaging agent that allows tracking the delivery of the Triad to the tumor site.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) for lung cancers.

  • J. UsudaH. Kato T. Hirano
  • Medicine
    Journal of thoracic oncology : official publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer
  • 2006

Tumor Oxygenation Changes Post‐Photodynamic Therapy

Abstract— Tumor oxygenation after a photodynamic therapy (PDT) treatment is a critical factor for understanding the post‐treatment metabolic pathway of the tumor. It also provides important

Photodynamic therapy of cerebral glioma – A review Part II – Clinical studies

Predictions of mathematical models of tissue oxygenation and generation of singlet oxygen during photodynamic therapy.

It is determined that when oxygen is not depleted from the tissue, the concentration of singlet oxygen that is generated is directly proportional to the product of the light fluence rate (phi) and the Concentration of the photosensitizer (Cs) which is an appropriate parameter for comparing the potential success of PDT protocols under these conditions.

Laser and Non-laser Light Sources for Photodynamic Therapy

The important characteristics of light sources for PDT, including dye lasers pumped by argon or metal vapour lasers and frequency-doubled Nd:YAG lasers are considered, and the relative merits of laser and non-laser sources are critically examined.

Monitoring photodynamic therapy of solid tumors online by BOLD-contrast MRI

The concept of photosensitized BOLD-contrast MRI may have intraoperative applications in interactive guidance and monitoring of antivascular cancer therapy, PDT treatment of macular degeneration, interventional cardiology and possibly other biomedical disciplines.


This paper will attempt to deal with the complex subject of PDT tumor destruction by giving a sequential account of the effects occurring during PDT tissue treatment on a cellular and tissue level.