Photosensitiser delivery for photodynamic therapy. Part 2: systemic carrier platforms

S. A. Sibani, Paul McCarron, A. D. Woolfson, R. F. Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The treatment of solid tumours and angiogenic ocular diseases by photodynamic therapy (PDT) requires the injection of a photosensitiser (PS) to destroy target cells through a combination of visible light irradiation and molecular oxygen. There is currently great interest in the development of efficient and specific carrier delivery platforms for systemic PDT. Objective: This article aims to review recent developments in systemic carrier delivery platforms for PDT, with an emphasis on target specificity. Methods: Recent publications, spanning the last five years, concerning delivery carrier platforms for systemic PDT were reviewed, including PS conjugates, dendrimers, micelles, liposomes and nanoparticles. Results/conclusion: PS conjugates and supramolecular delivery platforms can improve PDT selectivity by exploiting cellular and physiological specificities of the targeted tissue. Overexpression of receptors in cancer and angiogenic endothelial cells allows their targeting by affinity-based moieties for the selective uptake of PS conjugates and encapsulating delivery carriers, while the abnormal tumour neovascularisation induces a specific accumulation of heavy weighted PS carriers by enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect. in addition, polymeric prodrug delivery platforms triggered by the acidic nature of the tumour environment or the expression of proteases can be designed. Promising results obtained with recent systemic carrier platforms will, in due course, be translated into the clinic for highly efficient and selective PDT protocols.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1241-1254
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Delivery
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2008

Bibliographical note

PT: J; TC: 0


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