The effects of photodynamic therapy with blue light and papain-based gel associated with Urucum, on collagen and fibroblasts: a spectroscopic and cytotoxicity analysis


Papacarie Duo™ is clinically used and has proven effectiveness; however, it is necessary to improve its antimicrobial action. The combined treatment of Papacarie Duo™ with Urucum (Bixa Orellana) could create a potential tool for dental caries treatment; its extract obtained from the seeds’ pericarp contains a water-soluble primary pigment (cis-bixin) with smaller amounts of other carotenoids. The dicarboxylic acid salts of cis-norbixin and trans-norbixin occur in heated alkaline solutions. To analyze the absorption spectra and cytotoxicity (with human dermal fibroblasts) in different concentrations of Urucum, associated or not with Papacarie Duo™, we performed this in vitro study. The effects of pure Urucum, Papacarie Duo™, and PapaUrucum™ on the microstructure of collagen were also analyzed. The application of papain-based gel with Urucum did not present cytotoxicity, its exhibit UV absorption spectrum peak around 460 ± 20 nm. Also, it showed that the compound used did not alter the chemical structure of collagen. Consequently, this product could be used as a chemomechanical method to remove dentin caries as well as being a potential product for antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT) application.

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The authors gratefully to Nove de Julho University to the  technological support.


Z. Santos S. Jr. was finanacially supported by CAPES-Brazil grant 99999.002158/2014-00. M.R. Hamblin was financially supported by US NIH grant R01AI050875.

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ZSSJ, CMF, SBB, and PAA participated in the conception and design of the study, data collection, and drafting of the present manuscript. RAMF, LCS, MRH and MLLG helped draft the manuscript. DFTS performed statistical analyses, contributed to the design of the study. CMF, RAMF, CP, KPSF, and SKB critically reviewed the manuscript for intellectual content. SKB conceived the study and helped draft the manuscript. The final paper was read and approved by all the authors.

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Correspondence to Zenildo Santos Silva Jr or Sandra Kalil Bussadori.

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The authors declare non-financial interests concerning the work described. M.R. Hamblin is also a present member of the Transdermal Cap, Inc. scientific advisory board.

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Silva, Z.S., França, C.M., Araújo Prates, R. et al. The effects of photodynamic therapy with blue light and papain-based gel associated with Urucum, on collagen and fibroblasts: a spectroscopic and cytotoxicity analysis. Lasers Med Sci 35, 767–775 (2020).

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  • Cytotoxicity
  • Papain-based gel
  • Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy
  • Dentin