A group of scientists from the National University of Singapore have developed a method that allows light to penetrate deep into the body and activate photosensitive drugs for photodynamic therapy. The work was conducted under the guidance of Professor Zhang Yong. The results of the experiments were published today on the official website of the university.
Photodynamic therapy (FT) is an effective way to treat cancer with the help of photosensitizers (fs) and light with a certain wavelength. FS is injected into the body intravenously, after which light, penetrating the body, causes a photochemical reaction, during which many highly active radicals and singlet oxygen are formed these substances cause necrosis of cancer cells. However, the main disadvantage of FT is that the light emitted by the laser can not penetrate deeply into the body, and therefore this method of treatment is amenable only to tumors located close to the skin.
However, now specialists have managed to create a miniature device, through which laser beams can freely penetrate deep into the body. The device weighs only about 30 mg and has a size of 15 mm. According to the idea, the device is implanted into the patient’s body and performs the function of a router: A specialized radio-frequency system includes a device and controls the speed and quantity of light directed by the device. The research team demonstrated the therapeutic effectiveness of this approach by activating photosensitizers using light that overcame the body’s thick tissues (more than 3 cm).
This invention allows the treatment of cancer for therapeutic and preventive purposes to prevent relapse without surgery. In addition, the new technology can be applied in other related therapeutic areas, for example, in photothermal therapy. Currently, the team is working on the development of nanosystems for the purposeful delivery of photosensitizers.