Photodynamic Reactions in Photomedicine

  • J. D. Spikes
Part of the Photobiology book series (PB)


According to standard evolutionary theory, the early atmosphere of the earth was reducing and the first living organisms thus evolved in the absence of free molecular oxygen (1). With the appearance of plants capable of using water as a hydrogen source in photosynthesis, molecular oxygen began to accumulate in the atmosphere, finally reaching its present concentration of approximately 20%. Although this event made possible the highly efficient aerobic respiration reactions and provided a substantial shield against short-wave solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation via ozone formation, it also posed a severe problem to the existing organisms, since oxygen and certain of its derivatives are highly toxic. Some of these derivatives are produced by metabolic reactions, and, of special pertinence to this chapter, several are produced in good yield by sensitized photobiologic processes involving visible and near-UV radiation.


Methylene Blue Singlet Oxygen Acridine Orange Rose Bengal Photodynamic Action 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

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

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