Photodynamic therapy (PDT) relies on three main ingredients, oxygen, light and photoactivating compounds, although the PDT response is definitively contingent on the site and level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. This study describes the development of a novel, fluorescent-based actinometer microsphere system as a means of discerning spatially resolved dosimetry of total fluence and ROS production. Providing a high resolution, localized, in situ measurement of fluence and ROS generation is critical for developing in vivo PDT protocols. Alginate-poly-l-lysine-alginate microspheres were produced using ionotropic gelation of sodium alginate droplets, ranging from 80 to 200 μm in diameter, incorporating two dyes, ADS680WS (ADS) and Rhodophyta-phycoerythrin (RPE), attached to the spheres' inside and outside layers, respectively. To test the responsivity and dynamic range of RPE for ROS detection, the production of ROS was initiated either chemically using increasing concentrations of potassium perchromate or photochemically using aluminum tetrasulphonated phthalocyanine. The generation of singlet oxygen was confirmed by phosphorescence at 1270 nm. The resulting photodegradation and decrease in fluorescence of RPE was found to correlate with increased perchromate or PDT treatment fluence, respectively. This effect was independent of pH (6.5–8) and could be inhibited using sodium azide. RPE was not susceptible to photobleaching with light alone (670 nm; 150 Jcm−2). ADS, which absorbs light between 600 and 750 nm, showed a direct correlation between radiant exposure (670 nm; 0–100 Jcm−2) and diminished fluorescence. Photobleaching was independent of irradiance (10–40 mW cm−2). We propose that actinometer microspheres may provide a means for obtaining high spatial resolution information regarding delivered PDT dose within model systems during investigational PDT development and dosimetric information for clinical extracorporeal PDT as in the case of ex vivo bone marrow purging.
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Vol. 79 • No. 4