Lasers in Medical Science

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 62–67 | Cite as

Photodynamic inactivation of fibroblasts by a cationic porphyrin

  • Saskia A. G. Lambrechts
  • Kevin R. Schwartz
  • Maurice C. G. AaldersEmail author
  • Jacob B. Dankert
Original Article


An important determinant of the clinical applicability and value of antimicrobial photodynamic inactivation (PDI) is the cytotoxicity of the treatment to human cells. We evaluated the in vitro cytotoxicity of PDI to human dermal fibroblasts using 5-phenyl-10,15,20-tris(N-methyl-4-pyridyl)porphyrin chloride (TriP[4]) as the photosensitiser. The fibroblasts were exposed to a PDI regime that is known to be sufficient for the inactivation of Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida albicans [1]. The PDI experiments were carried out in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) and in 6.25%, 12.5%, 25% and 50% fetal calf serum (FCS)/PBS suspensions. Cell viability subsequent to exposure was evaluated after 0 h, 6 h and 18 h using the methylthiazoletetrazolium (MTT) assay and compared to pretreatment values. At a TriP[4] concentration previously demonstrated to induce a 5log10-unit reduction in a viable count for S. aureus, 79% of the fibroblasts were photo-inactivated. Increasing the FCS concentration in the medium protected the fibroblasts against PDI. Based on our in vitro results, we propose that in vivo PDI of S. aureus holds potential; however, PDI of P. aeruginosa and C. albicans will probably require such a strong PDI regime that it will induce substantial damage to fibroblasts.


Photodynamic inactivation Fibroblast Serum Cationic porphyrin 



Fetal calf serum




Photodynamic inactivation


Phosphate-buffered saline


5-phenyl-10,15,20-tris(N-methyl-4-pyridyl)porphyrin chloride


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saskia A. G. Lambrechts
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kevin R. Schwartz
    • 1
  • Maurice C. G. Aalders
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jacob B. Dankert
    • 2
  1. 1.Laser Center K01-225-5, Academic Medical CenterUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Medical Microbiology, Academic Medical CenterUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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