Sulfonated aluminum phthalocyanines for two-photon photodynamic cancer therapy: The effect of the excitation wavelength

J. Wang, W. Li, H. B. Yu, Nai Ho CHEUNG, J. Y. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Sulfonated aluminum phthalocyanine (AlPcS) is a well-studied photosensitizer which has been widely used in research and in clinical applications of the photodynamic therapy of cancers. Conventionally, one-photon excitation was used, but it was unknown whether two-photon excitation of AlPcS was equally effective. In this study, the two-photon absorption cross sections of AlPcS at near infrared wavelengths were deduced from femtosecond (fs) laser-induced fluorescence. We found that the two-photon absorption cross section of AlPcS was strongly dependent on the excitation wavelength. It was about 19 GM when excited at 800 nm, but grew to 855 GM when excited at 750 nm. The 750 nm fs-laser-induced fluorescence images of AlPcS in human nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells were clearly visible while the corresponding images were very dim when excited at 800 nm. Singlet oxygen production was 13 times higher when excited at 750 nm relative to 800 nm. Our subsequent in vitro experiments showed that 750 nm two-photon excitation with an unfocused fs laser beam damaged cancer cells in a light-dose-dependent manner typical of photodynamic therapy (PDT). The killing at 750 nm was about 9-10 times more efficient than at 800 nm. These results demonstrated for the first time that AlPcS has good potential for two-photon PDT of cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number035602
JournalLaser Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

User-Defined Keywords

  • aluminum phthalocyanine
  • cell imaging
  • photodynamic therapy
  • singlet oxygen
  • twophoton absorption cross section


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