As photodynamic therapy (PDT) continues to develop and find new clinical indications, robust individualized dosimetry is warranted to achieve effective treatments. We posit that the most direct PDT dosimetry is achieved by monitoring singlet oxygen (1O2), the major cytotoxic species generated photochemically during PDT. Its detection and quantification during PDT have been long-term goals for PDT dosimetry and the development of techniques for this, based on detection of its near-infrared luminescence emission (1270 nm), is at a noteworthy stage of development. We begin by discussing the theory behind singlet-oxygen luminescence dosimetry (SOLD) and the seminal contributions that have brought SOLD to its current status. Subsequently, technology developments that could potentially improve SOLD are discussed, together with future areas of research, as well as the potential limitations of this method. We conclude by examining the major thrusts for future SOLD applications: as a tool for quantitative photobiological studies, a point of reference to evaluate other PDT dosimetry techniques, the optimal means to evaluate new photosensitizers and delivery methods and, potentially, a direct and robust clinical dosimetry system.
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Vol. 82 • No. 5