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Molecules 2012, 17(1), 98-144; doi:10.3390/molecules17010098

Like a Bolt from the Blue: Phthalocyanines in Biomedical Optics

1, 2, 3 and 1,*
1 School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Lausanne/Geneva, Geneva, 30, quai Ernest Ansermet, Geneva CH-1211, Switzerland 2 Laboratory of Photomedicine, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Lausanne CH-1015, Switzerland 3 Department of Chemistry, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 November 2011 / Revised: 5 December 2011 / Accepted: 14 December 2011 / Published: 23 December 2011
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The purpose of this review is to compile preclinical and clinical results on phthalocyanines (Pcs) as photosensitizers (PS) for Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) and contrast agents for fluorescence imaging. Indeed, Pcs are excellent candidates in these fields due to their strong absorbance in the NIR region and high chemical and photo-stability. In particular, this is mostly relevant for their in vivo activation in deeper tissular regions. However, most Pcs present two major limitations, i.e., a strong tendency to aggregate and a low water-solubility. In order to overcome these issues, both chemical tuning and pharmaceutical formulation combined with tumor targeting strategies were applied. These aspects will be developed in this review for the most extensively studied Pcs during the last 25 years, i.e., aluminium-, zinc- and silicon-based Pcs.
Keywords: biomedical optics; fluorescence diagnosis; phthalocyanines; NIR dyes; photodynamic therapy biomedical optics; fluorescence diagnosis; phthalocyanines; NIR dyes; photodynamic therapy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Sekkat, N.; Bergh, H.; Nyokong, T.; Lange, N. Like a Bolt from the Blue: Phthalocyanines in Biomedical Optics. Molecules 2012, 17, 98-144.

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