Lasers in Medical Science

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 575–584 | Cite as

Photodynamic therapy disinfection of carious tissue mediated by aluminum-chloride-phthalocyanine entrapped in cationic liposomes: an in vitro and clinical study

  • João Paulo F. Longo
  • Soraya C. Leal
  • Andreza R. Simioni
  • Maria de Fátima Menezes Almeida-Santos
  • Antônio C. Tedesco
  • Ricardo B. Azevedo
Original Article


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a technique employed in the treatment of several superficial infections, such as caries. PDT uses a non-toxic drug termed photosensitizer (PS) followed by light irradiation. The cytotoxic effects of the therapy are related to the production of reactive species produced after light activation of a photosensitizer, which reacts with surrounding molecules and disrupts several of the cell's functions. Within this context, this study aimed to develop a clinical protocol involving PDT application mediated by aluminum-chloride-phthalocyanine (AlClPc) entrapped in cationic liposomes against cariogenic bacteria in caries lesions. Cationic liposomes were used to delivery AlClPc preferentially to bacterial cells due to the strong anionic superficial charges of these cell types. The results are represented in two fundamental steps: (1) in vitro evaluation of AlClPc delivery to cariogenic bacteria and pulp cells, as well as its potential phototoxicity; (2) a clinical study involving volunteer patients that were treated with the PDT protocol mediated by AlClPc-cationic liposome. The main results showed that the AlClPc-cationic liposome was preferentially absorbed by bacterial cells compared to eukaryotic dental pulp cells, and it was efficient in the reduction of microbial load from bacterial cultures. In addition, the clinical study showed a mean reduction of 82% of total bacterial in the treated cavities after PDT application. Taken together, the results presented in this study showed that the antimicrobial PDT protocol mediated by cationic liposomes containing AlClPc is safety for clinical application and is efficient in the reduction of bacterial load in caries lesions.


Caries Photodynamic therapy Cationic liposome Bacteria 



This work was supported by the following Brazilian agencies: MCT; FINEP; CNPq; INCT Nanobiotechnology; FAP-DF and CAPES.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • João Paulo F. Longo
    • 1
  • Soraya C. Leal
    • 2
  • Andreza R. Simioni
    • 3
  • Maria de Fátima Menezes Almeida-Santos
    • 1
  • Antônio C. Tedesco
    • 3
  • Ricardo B. Azevedo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Genetics and Morphology, Institute of BiologyUniversity of BrasíliaBrasiliaBrazil
  2. 2.Department of DentistryUniversity of BrasíliaBrasíliaBrazil
  3. 3.Center of Nanotechnology and Tissue Engineers, Photobiology and Photomedicine research GroupFFCLRP- São Paulo UniversityRibeirão Preto, São PauloBrazil

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