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Trends Biotechnol. 2008 Nov;26(11):612-21. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2008.07.007. Epub 2008 Sep 17.

Nanoparticles as vehicles for delivery of photodynamic therapy agents.

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Centre de Recherche en Automatique de Nancy, Nancy-University, Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France.


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) in cancer treatment involves the uptake of a photosensitizer by cancer tissue followed by photoirradiation. The use of nanoparticles as carriers of photosensitizers is a very promising approach because these nanomaterials can satisfy all the requirements for an ideal PDT agent. This review describes and compares the different individual types of nanoparticles that are currently in use for PDT applications. Recent advances in the use of nanoparticles, including inorganic oxide-, metallic-, ceramic-, and biodegradable polymer-based nanomaterials as carriers of photosensitizing agents, are highlighted. We describe the nanoparticles in terms of stability, photocytotoxic efficiency, biodistribution and therapeutic efficiency. Finally, we summarize exciting new results concerning the improvement of the photophysical properties of nanoparticles by means of biphotonic absorption and upconversion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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