Metal nanoparticles amplify photodynamic effect on skin cells in vitro
Other conference contribution, 2011

We report on an investigation aimed to increase the efficiency of photodynamic therapy (PDT) through the influence of localized surface plasmon resonances (LSPR's) in metal nanoparticles. PDT is based on photosensitizers that generate singlet oxygen at the tumour site upon exposure to visible light. Although PDT is a well-established treatment for skin cancer, a major drawback is the low quantum yield for singlet-oxygen production. This motivates the development of novel methods that enhance singlet oxygen generation during treatment. In this context, we study the photodynamic effect on cultured human skin cells in the presence or absence of gold nanoparticles with well established LSPR and field-enhancement properties. The cultured skin cells were exposed to protoporphyrin IX and gold nanoparticles and subsequently illuminated with red light. We investigated the differences in cell viability by tuning different parameters, such as incubation time and light dose. In order to find optimal parameters for specific targeting of tumour cells, we compared normal human epidermal keratinocytes with a human squamous skin cancer cell line. The study indicates significantly enhanced cell death in the presence of nanoparticles and important differences in treatment efficiency between normal and tumour cells. These results are thus promising and clearly motivate further development of nanoparticle enhanced clinical PDT treatment.


Surface plasmon resonance


Photodynamic therapy

Singlet oxygen


Tumour cells

Cell culture


Brigitte Bauer

University of Gothenburg

Si Chen

Chalmers, Applied Physics, Bionanophotonics

Mikael Käll

Chalmers, Applied Physics, Bionanophotonics

Linda K Gunnarsson

Chalmers, Applied Physics, Bionanophotonics

Marica Ericson

University of Gothenburg

Progress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE. Optical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XXII; San Francisco, CA; 24-26 January 2011

1605-7422 (ISSN)

Vol. 7897
978-081948434-5 (ISBN)

Subject Categories

Physical Chemistry





More information

Latest update