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J Phys Chem B. 2005 Feb 24;109(7):3041-6.

Time-resolved investigations of singlet oxygen luminescence in water, in phosphatidylcholine, and in aqueous suspensions of phosphatidylcholine or HT29 cells.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Regensburg, Germany, and Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics, University of Regensburg, Germany.


Singlet oxygen was generated by energy transfer from the photoexcited sensitizer, Photofrin or 9-acetoxy-2,7,12,17-tetrakis-(beta-methoxyethyl)-porphycene (ATMPn), to molecular oxygen. Singlet oxygen was detected time-resolved by its luminescence at 1270 nm in an environment of increasing complexity, water (H2O), pure phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylcholine in water (lipid suspensions), and aqueous suspensions of living cells. In the case of the lipid suspensions, the sensitizers accumulated in the lipids, whereas the localizations in the cells are the membranes containing phosphatidylcholine. By use of Photofrin, the measured luminescence decay times of singlet oxygen were 3.5 +/- 0.5 micros in water, 14 +/- 2 micros in lipid, 9 +/- 2 micros in aqueous suspensions of lipid droplets, and 10 +/- 3 micros in aqueous suspensions of human colonic cancer cells (HT29). The decay time in cell suspensions was much longer than in water and was comparable to the value in suspensions of phosphatidylcholine. That luminescence signal might be attributed to singlet oxygen decaying in the lipid areas of cellular membranes. The measured luminescence decay times of singlet oxygen excited by ATMPn in pure lipid and lipid suspensions were the same within the experimental error as for Photofrin. In contrast to experiments with Photofrin, the decay time in aqueous suspension of HT29 cells was 6 +/- 2 micros when using ATMPn.

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