Photodynamic Therapy at Low-Light Fluence Rate: In vitro Assays on Colon Cancer Cells

J.A. Rodrigues, R. Amorim, M.F. Silva, F. Baltazar, R.F. Wolffenbuttel, J.H. Correia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the results of in vitro photodynamic therapy assays on RKO and HCT-15 cell lines. The envisaged implementation is in autonomous medical microdevices, such as endoscopic capsules for clinical treatment of several types of gastrointestinal tract tumors. Because of their very limited device volume, light fluence and fluence rate needed to destroy tumor cells should be minimized. Foscan or meta-tetra(hydroxyphenyl)chlorin (mTHPC) is used as a photosensitizer. The experimental results show that a small amount of mTHPC (0.15 mg/kg) and light fluence (5-20 J/cm2) is sufficient to obtain significant photodynamic activity. An array of LEDs with peak transmittance at 652 nm is used as a portable light source for the maximum quantum efficiency in producing singlet oxygen. Irradiation to a light fluence between 2.5 and 10 J/cm2 is achieved by an increased exposure time at an 11 mW/cm2 light fluence rate, while mTHPC concentrations of 0.5, 1, 5, and 10 μg/mL are used. The experimental results show that decreased cell viability (down to 30%) can be obtained for 1-5 μg/mL of mTHPC concentrations and 2.5 J/cm2 of light fluence. Such light fluence and light fluence rate are compatible with the endoscopic capsules batteries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7202506
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Biophotonic therapeutic technique
  • light-tissue interaction
  • Photodynamic therapy


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