Nanoparticle self-lighting photodynamic therapy for cancer treatment

Wei Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

107 Citations (Scopus)


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has been designated as a "promising new modality in the treatment of cancer" since the early 1980s. Light must be delivered in order to activate photodynamic therapy. Most photosensitizers have strong absorption in the ultraviolet (UV)-blue range, therefore, UV-blue light is needed for their activation. Unfortunately, UV-blue light has minimal penetration into tissue and its application for in vivo activation is a problem. To solve the problem and enhance the PDT treatment for deep cancers, we introduce new PDT systems in which the light is generated by afterglow nanoparticles with attached photosensitizers. When the nanoparticle-photosensitizer conjugates are targeted to tumor, the light from afterglow nanoparticles will activate the photosensitizers for photodynamic therapy. Therefore, no external light is required for treatment. More importantly, it can be used to treat deep tumor such as breast cancer because the light source is attached to the photosensitizers and are delivered to the tumor cells all together. This new modality is refereed as Nanoparticle Self-Lighting Photodynamic Therapy (NSLPDT).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-376
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomedical Nanotechnology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Afterglow
  • Cancer
  • Luminescence
  • Nanoparticles
  • Penetration
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Quantum dots
  • Radiation therapy
  • Self-lighting


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