Efforts to enhance the utility of photodynamic therapy as a non-invasive method for treating certain cancers have often involved the design of dye sensitizers with increased singlet oxygen efficiency. More recently, however, sensitizers with greater selectivity for tumor cells than surrounding tissue have been targeted. The present study provides an approach to the modification of the known photosensitizer zinc phthalocyanine (ZnPc), to enhance its solubility and delivery to cancer cells. Targeting a photosensitizer to the site of action improves the efficacy of the sensitizer in photodynamic therapy. In this work we used PLGA-b-PEG to encapsulate a new zinc phthalocyanine derivative, 2(3), 9(10), 16(17), 23(24)-tetrakis-(4'-methyl-benzyloxy) phthalocyanine zinc(II) (ZnPcBCH3), to enhance uptake into A549 cells, a human lung cancer cell line. ZnPcBCH3 exhibited the same photochemical properties as the parent compound ZnPc but gave increased solubility in organic solvents, which allowed for efficient encapsulation. In addition, the encapsulated dye showed a near 500-fold increase in phototoxicity for A549 cancer cells compared to free dye.
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Mehraban, Nahid; Musich, Phillip R.; and Freeman, Harold S.. 2019. Synthesis and Encapsulation of a New Zinc Phthalocyanine Photosensitizer Into Polymeric Nanoparticles to Enhance Cell Uptake and Phototoxicity. Applied Sciences (Switzerland). Vol.9(3). https://doi.org/10.3390/app9030401