Photosensitizing Properties of Porphyrins in Model Cell Systems

  • John D. Spikes


A large amount of work has been done on the photophysics, photochemistry and photosensitizing properties of porphyrins in aqueous solutions. Even so, much remains to be learned about porphyrin-sensitized photooxidation reactions (photodynamic effects) in simple systems. In particular, the dependence of the mechanisms and efficiencies of the reactions on porphyrin structure, the aggregation state of the porphyrin, the properties of the reaction medium and the chemical structure of the substrate being photooxidized must be studied in more detail.1 It is difficult at present to usefully extrapolate much of the wealth of information available on the photosensitizing behavior of porphyrins in homogeneous solution to the cellular situation. First, the cell membrane poses a differential barrier to the penetration of different porphyrins from the external solution because of its hydrophobic core, and perhaps because of its charge. Further, cells are not homogeneous bags of fluid; both the membrane and the interior are made up of an enormous number of microregions with widely different chemical-physical properties.


Singlet Oxygen Liposomal Membrane Generate Singlet Oxygen Photosensitize Property Water Soluble Porphyrin 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • John D. Spikes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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