Applications of light therapy or phototherapy in the healthcare industry are ameliorating. Conventionally, phototherapy devices developed by prominent pharmaceutical & medical device manufacturers in the world were directed towards their use in helio-therapeutics. Phototherapy devices as medical instruments served the function of exposing specific wavelengths of light to targeted body parts by using lasers, polychromatic polarized lights, light-emitting diodes, or fluorescent lamps. Bright dichroic lamps and full-spectrum lights were also used for developing effective phototherapy devices.

Changing conditions of end-use patients for phototherapy have transformed the approach of manufacturers towards development of phototherapy devices. Previously, light exposed through phototherapy devices was prescribed for shorter time periods. New conditions of skin cancer, diabetic retinopathy and other disorders recorded across the globe have changed the recommendation or prescription guidelines in use of phototherapy devices. Increasing incidence of delayed sleep phase disorders have also propelled the demand for phototherapy and the devices used in this treatment. Strong evidence collected from clinical studies have also surged the importance of phototherapy devices in treatment of non-seasonal psychiatric disorders.

The most recent development in the field of phototherapeutics is a new study that reveals the role of synthesized small molecular fluorophore in enhancing dual modal phototherapy. Including photothermal therapy (PTT) and photodynamic therapy (PDT), phototherapy continues to be a noninvasive and effective treatment for cancer. In a phototherapeutic treatment of cancer, light energy is absorbed by photosensitizers is converted into excessive reactive oxygen species, also called as local hyperthermia, which effectively kills cancerous cells. Studies that came across in recent years have been focused on combining the fluorescence of imaging agents, the tumor-inhibition abilities of photosensitizers, and the targeting properties of nanostructures by constructing nanoparticle systems in the field of tumor theranostics. Although, complex synthesis and complicated components have limited the application purview of theranostic nanosystems in phototherapeutic treatment of cancer.

Chinese College Study redefines Effectiveness of Dual Modal Phototherapy Devices

A team of college academics, led by Yueqing Gu, at the State Key Laboratory of Natural Medicines, based in Nanjing China, recently published their work revealing how inherent tumor specific targeting abilities of a small molecular fluorophore were synthesized for enhanced dual modal phototherapy and long-duration synchronous cancer imaging. According to the reports, the small molecule – NIR-03 – despite being simple in structure, featured some important and unique advantages, which follow:

  • Facilitating real-time, in-vivo tumor monitoring through fluorescence imaging in the near-infrared window
  • Possessing inherent abilities of targeting tumors, but to certain tumor cell lines
  • Using the synthesis abilities for image-guided synergistic PDT and PTT tumor therapies
  • Enhanced stability against photo-bleaching, compared to traditional near-infrared fluorophore indocyanine green

Such abilities of synthesized small molecular fluorophore can enhance the efficiency of phototherapy devices, and prolong the duration of tumor imaging effectively. In comparison with normally-adopted phototherapy methods that incorporate imaging agent, photodynamic photosensitizers and photothermal photosensitizers into nanostructures for facilitating image-guided laser treatment and simultaneous PTT/PDT treatments, this small molecular fluorophore offers development of small-molecule-based cancer theranostic materials, which can be used for enhancing simultaneous cancer targeting, therapy and imaging.