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Special Issue "Materials for Photobiology"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2022) | Viewed by 23622

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Antonino Mazzaglia
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
CNR-ISMN, URT of Messina c/o Department of Chemical, Biological, Pharmaceutical and Environmental Sciences of the University of Messina, Viale F. Stagno D'Alcontres 31, I-98166 Messina, Italy
Interests: cyclodextrins; hybrid nanoassemblies; drug delivery; photodynamic therapy; carbon nanomaterials; photosensitisers; hyaluronic acid; magnetic nanoparticles; supramolecular nanotechnology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Angela Scala
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical, Biological, Pharmaceutical and Environmental Sciences, University of Messina, 98166 Messina, Italy
Interests: organic chemistry; organic synthesis; covalent functionalization of biopolymers; nanoparticles; drug delivery; cyclodextrins; nanomedicine; carbon-based nanomaterials; nanosensors; nanotechnology; pharmaceuticals
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Enrico Caruso
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Università degli Studi dell'Insubria, Italy
Interests: photobiology; organic chemistry; photodynamic therapy; biocatalysis; metal nanoparticles; natural exctracts

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Photobiology is a challenging research area aiming to explore the interaction between light and living organisms with applications in the fields of photomedicine, photo(nano)technology, photosynthesis, and photosensory biology. Furthermore, there is a great interest in designing advanced biomaterials with peculiar physicochemical properties and photoresponsive ability that, interacting with light, produce a response which is useful for diagnosis and therapeutic treatment. Therefore, the interaction of light with molecules, nanomaterials, cells, and tissues and the subsequent biological responses represent an interdisciplinary research in the fields of chemistry, physics, biology, and medicine.

In this Special Issue, we aim to collect contributions from selected players in those fields to address the latest advances in the use of materials for photobiology, including potential scientific and technological applications of their findings in chemistry, biology, drug delivery, bioimaging, and biosensing.

The invited papers will describe light-responsive materials based on macrocyclic assemblies, nanoparticles, micelles, liposomes, polymers, hydrogels, proteins/peptides, plasmonic nanomaterials, carbon-based and silica-based and other photo-responsive hybrid organic and/or inorganic components. This Special Issue welcomes original research and reviews focusing on all aspects of design, preparation, physicochemical characterization, and biological evaluation of materials for photobiology, including phototherapeutic and photodiagnostic materials, with a special focus on materials or biomaterials proposed for light-induced therapies in cancer, infections, and dermatological treatments.

The accepted papers, after a peer reviewing process, will be posted immediately on the website of the International Journal of Molecular Science.

Prof. Dr. Antonino Mazzaglia

Dr. Angela Scala

Dr. Enrico Caruso
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Light-responsive materials
  • Phototherapeutics
  • Photodiagnosis
  • Bioimaging
  • Living bioluminescent materials
  • Light-induced therapy
  • UV-radiation effect
  • Photo-antinfective materials
  • Photosensory biology
  • Molecular optogenetics

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Research

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Article
Psoralen as a Photosensitizers for Photodynamic Therapy by Means of In Vitro Cherenkov Light
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(23), 15233; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232315233 - 03 Dec 2022
Viewed by 126
Abstract
Possible enhancements of DNA damage with light of different wavelengths and ionizing radiation (Rhenium-188—a high energy beta emitter (Re-188)) on plasmid DNA and FaDu cells via psoralen were investigated. The biophysical experimental setup could also be used to investigate additional DNA damage due [...] Read more.
Possible enhancements of DNA damage with light of different wavelengths and ionizing radiation (Rhenium-188—a high energy beta emitter (Re-188)) on plasmid DNA and FaDu cells via psoralen were investigated. The biophysical experimental setup could also be used to investigate additional DNA damage due to photodynamic effects, resulting from Cherenkov light. Conformational changes of plasmid DNA due to DNA damage were detected and quantified by gel electrophoresis and fluorescent staining. The clonogene survival of the FaDu cells was analyzed with colony formation assays. Dimethyl sulfoxide was chosen as a chemical modulator, and Re-188 was used to evaluate the radiotoxicity and light (UVC: λ = 254 nm and UVA: λ = 366 nm) to determine the phototoxicity. Psoralen did not show chemotoxic effects on the plasmid DNA or FaDu cells. After additional treatment with light (only 366 nm—not seen with 254 nm), a concentration-dependent increase in single strand breaks (SSBs) was visible, resulting in a decrease in the survival fraction due to the photochemical activation of psoralen. Whilst UVC light was phototoxic, UVA light did not conclude in DNA strand breaks. Re-188 showed typical radiotoxic effects with SSBs, double strand breaks, and an overall reduced cell survival for both the plasmid DNA and FaDu cells. While psoralen and UVA light showed an increased toxicity on plasmid DNA and human cancer cells, Re-188, in combination with psoralen, did not provoke additional DNA damage via Cherenkov light. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Photobiology)
Article
Towards an In Vitro 3D Model for Photosynthetic Cancer Treatment: A Study of Microalgae and Tumor Cell Interactions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(21), 13550; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232113550 - 04 Nov 2022
Viewed by 403
Abstract
As hypoxic tumors show resistance to several clinical treatments, photosynthetic microorganisms have been recently suggested as a promising safe alternative for oxygenating the tumor microenvironment. The relationship between organisms and the effect microalgae have on tumors is still largely unknown, evidencing the need [...] Read more.
As hypoxic tumors show resistance to several clinical treatments, photosynthetic microorganisms have been recently suggested as a promising safe alternative for oxygenating the tumor microenvironment. The relationship between organisms and the effect microalgae have on tumors is still largely unknown, evidencing the need for a simple yet representative model for studying photosynthetic tumor oxygenation in a reproducible manner. Here, we present a 3D photosynthetic tumor model composed of human melanoma cells and the microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, both seeded into a collagen scaffold, which allows for the simultaneous study of both cell types. This work focuses on the biocompatibility and cellular interactions of the two cell types, as well as the study of photosynthetic oxygenation of the tumor cells. It is shown that both cell types are biocompatible with one another at cell culture conditions and that a 10:1 ratio of microalgae to cells meets the metabolic requirement of the tumor cells, producing over twice the required amount of oxygen. This 3D tumor model provides an easy-to-use in vitro resource for analyzing the effects of photosynthetically produced oxygen on a tumor microenvironment, thus opening various potential research avenues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Photobiology)
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Article
A Curcumin-BODIPY Dyad and Its Silica Hybrid as NIR Bioimaging Probes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(17), 9542; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23179542 - 23 Aug 2022
Viewed by 660
Abstract
In this paper we describe the synthesis of a novel bichromophoric system in which an efficient photoinduced intercomponent energy transfer process is active. The dyad consists of one subunit of curcumin and one of BODIPY and is able to emit in the far-red [...] Read more.
In this paper we describe the synthesis of a novel bichromophoric system in which an efficient photoinduced intercomponent energy transfer process is active. The dyad consists of one subunit of curcumin and one of BODIPY and is able to emit in the far-red region, offering a large Stokes shift, capable of limiting light scattering processes for applications in microscopy. The system has been encapsulated in MCM-41 nanoparticles with dimensions between 50 and 80 nm. Both the molecular dyad and individual subunits were tested with different cell lines to study their effective applicability in bioimaging. MCM-41 nanoparticles showed no reduction in cell viability, indicating their biocompatibility and bio-inertness and making them capable of delivering organic molecules even in aqueous-based formulations, avoiding the toxicity of organic solvents. Encapsulation in the porous silica structure directed the location of the bichromophoric system within cytoplasm, while the dyad alone stains the nucleus of the hFOB cell line. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Photobiology)
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Article
Influence of Incubation Time on Ortho-Toluidine Blue Mediated Antimicrobial Photodynamic Therapy Directed against Selected Candida Strains—An In Vitro Study
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(20), 10971; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222010971 - 11 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1061
Abstract
(1) Background and the aim: The appropriate incubation time in the antimicrobial photodynamic therapy protocol seems to have a huge impact on the efficacy of this process. This is particularly important in relation to Candida strains, due to the size of these cells [...] Read more.
(1) Background and the aim: The appropriate incubation time in the antimicrobial photodynamic therapy protocol seems to have a huge impact on the efficacy of this process. This is particularly important in relation to Candida strains, due to the size of these cells and the presence of the cell wall. The aims of this study were to determine the optimal incubation time needed for the absorption of toluidine blue by cells of C. albicans, C. glabrata, C. krusei and C. parapsilosis using direct observation by optical microscopy, and to evaluate the efficacy of TBO-mediated aPDT on planktonic cells of these strains. (2) Methods: The microscopic evaluation consisted of taking a series of images at a magnification of 600× and counting the % of stained cells. The in vitro effect of TBO-mediated aPDT combined with a diode laser (635 nm, 400mW, 12 J/cm2, CW) on the viability of yeast cells with different incubation times was evaluated. (3) Results: The presence of TBO within the cytoplasm was observed in all tested Candida strains and at all microscopic evaluation times. However, the highest percentages of cells were stained at 7 and 10 min. The highest % reduction of CFU/mL after TBO-mediated aPDT against Candida was obtained for the strain C. albicans ATCC 10,231 and it was 78.55%. (4) Conclusions: TBO-mediated aPDT against Candida was effective in reducing the number of CFU/mL at all assessed incubation times. However, the most efficient period for almost all strains was 7–10 min. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Photobiology)
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Article
Nitrogen Functionalities of Amino-Functionalized Nitrogen-Doped Graphene Quantum Dots for Highly Efficient Enhancement of Antimicrobial Therapy to Eliminate Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Utilization as a Contrast Agent
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(18), 9695; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22189695 - 07 Sep 2021
Viewed by 1182
Abstract
There is an urgent need for materials that can efficiently generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) and be used in photodynamic therapy (PDT) as two-photon imaging contrast probes. In this study, graphene quantum dots (GQDs) were subjected to amino group functionalization and nitrogen doping [...] Read more.
There is an urgent need for materials that can efficiently generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) and be used in photodynamic therapy (PDT) as two-photon imaging contrast probes. In this study, graphene quantum dots (GQDs) were subjected to amino group functionalization and nitrogen doping (amino-N-GQDs) via annealing and hydrothermal ammonia autoclave treatments. The synthesized dots could serve as a photosensitizer in PDT and generate more ROS than conventional GQDs under 60-s low-energy (fixed output power: 0.07 W·cm−2) excitation exerted by a 670-nm continuous-wave laser. The generated ROS were used to completely eliminate a multidrug-resistant strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a Gram-positive bacterium. Compared with conventional GQDs, the amino-N-GQDs had superior optical properties, including stronger absorption, higher quantum yield (0.34), stronger luminescence, and high stability under exposure. The high photostability and intrinsic luminescence of amino-N-GQDs contribute to their suitability as contrast probes for use in biomedical imaging, in addition to their bacteria tracking and localization abilities. Herein, the dual-modality amino-N-GQDs in PDT easily eliminated multidrug-resistant bacteria, ultimately revealing their potential for use in future clinical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Photobiology)
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Article
Photodynamic Inactivation of an Endodontic Bacteria Using Diode Laser and Indocyanine Green-Loaded Nanosphere
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(16), 8384; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22168384 - 04 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1093
Abstract
Apical periodontitis, an inflammatory lesion causing bone resorption around the apex of teeth, is treated by eradicating infectious bacteria from the root canal. However, it has a high recurrence rate and often requires retreatment. We investigated the bactericidal effect of antimicrobial photodynamic therapy [...] Read more.
Apical periodontitis, an inflammatory lesion causing bone resorption around the apex of teeth, is treated by eradicating infectious bacteria from the root canal. However, it has a high recurrence rate and often requires retreatment. We investigated the bactericidal effect of antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT)/photodynamic antimicrobial chemotherapy (PACT) using indocyanine green (ICG)-loaded nanospheres coated with chitosan and a diode laser on a biofilm of Enterococcus faecalis, a pathogen of refractory apical periodontitis. Biofilm of E. faecalis was cultured in a porcine infected root canal model. ICG solution was injected into the root canal, which was then irradiated with a laser (810 nm wavelength) from outside the root canal. The bactericidal effect was evaluated by colony counts and scanning electron microscopy. The result of the colony counts showed a maximum 1.89 log reduction after irradiation at 2.1 W for 5 min. The temperature rise during aPDT/PACT was confirmed to be within a safe range. Furthermore, the light energy transmittance through the root was at a peak approximately 1 min after the start of irradiation, indicating that most of the ICG in the root canal was consumed. This study shows that aPDT/PACT can suppress E. faecalis in infected root canals with high efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Photobiology)
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Article
Improving Consistency of Photobiomodulation Therapy: A Novel Flat-Top Beam Hand-Piece versus Standard Gaussian Probes on Mitochondrial Activity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(15), 7788; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22157788 - 21 Jul 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1366
Abstract
The tremendous therapeutic potential of photobiomodulation therapy in different branches of medicine has been described in the literature. One of the molecular mechanisms for this treatment implicates the mitochondrial enzyme, cytochrome C oxidase. However, the efficacy and consistency of clinical outcomes with photobiomodulation [...] Read more.
The tremendous therapeutic potential of photobiomodulation therapy in different branches of medicine has been described in the literature. One of the molecular mechanisms for this treatment implicates the mitochondrial enzyme, cytochrome C oxidase. However, the efficacy and consistency of clinical outcomes with photobiomodulation treatments has been fiercely debated. This work was motivated by this need to improve photobiomodulation devices and delivery approaches. We designed a novel hand-piece with a flat-top beam profile of irradiation. We compared the beam profile versus a standard hand-piece and a fibre probe. We utilized isolated mitochondria and performed treatments at various spots within the beam, namely, the centre, left and right edge. We examined mitochondrial activity by assessing ATP synthesis with the luciferin/luciferase chemiluminescent method as a primary endpoint, while mitochondrial damage was assessed as the secondary endpoint. We observed a uniform distribution of the power density with the flat-top prototype compared to a wide Gaussian beam profile with the standard fibre and standard hand-piece. We noted increased production of ATP in the centre of all three beams with respect to the non-treated controls (p < 0.05). Both the fibre and standard hand-piece demonstrated less increase in ATP synthesis at the edges than the centre (p < 0.05). In contrast, ATP synthesis was increased homogenously in the flat-top handpiece, both in the centre and the edges of the beam. Fibre, standard hand-piece and the flat-top hand-piece prototype have discrete beam distribution characteristics. This significantly affected the mitochondrial activity with respect to their position within the treated areas. Flat-top hand-piece enhances the uniformity of photobiomodulation treatments and can improve the rigour and reproducibility of PBM clinical outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Photobiology)
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Article
Photoinactivation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilm by Dicationic Diaryl-Porphyrin
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(13), 6808; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22136808 - 24 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1408
Abstract
In recent years, antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT) has received increasing attention as a promising tool aimed at both treating microbial infections and sanitizing environments. Since biofilm formation on biological and inert surfaces makes difficult the eradication of bacterial communities, further studies are needed [...] Read more.
In recent years, antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT) has received increasing attention as a promising tool aimed at both treating microbial infections and sanitizing environments. Since biofilm formation on biological and inert surfaces makes difficult the eradication of bacterial communities, further studies are needed to investigate such tricky issue. In this work, a panel of 13 diaryl-porphyrins (neutral, mono- and di-cationic) was taken in consideration to photoinactivate Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Among cationic photosensitizers (PSs) able to efficiently bind cells, in this study two dicationic showed to be intrinsically toxic and were ruled out by further investigations. In particular, the dicationic porphyrin (P11) that was not toxic, showed a better photoinactivation rate than monocationic in suspended cells. Furthermore, it was very efficient in inhibiting the biofilms produced by the model microorganism Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 and by clinical strains derived from urinary tract infection and cystic fibrosis patients. Since P. aeruginosa represents a target very difficult to inactivate, this study confirms the potential of dicationic diaryl-porphyrins as photo-activated antimicrobials in different applicative fields, from clinical to environmental ones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Photobiology)
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Article
Antibacterial Photodynamic Inactivation of Fagopyrin F from Tartary Buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum) Flower against Streptococcus mutans and Its Biofilm
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(12), 6205; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22126205 - 08 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1205
Abstract
The objective of this study was to determine reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by fagopyrin F-rich fraction (FFF) separated from Tartary buckwheat flower extract exposed to lights and to investigate its antibacterial photodynamic inactivation (PDI) against Streptococcus mutans and its biofilm. ROS producing [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to determine reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by fagopyrin F-rich fraction (FFF) separated from Tartary buckwheat flower extract exposed to lights and to investigate its antibacterial photodynamic inactivation (PDI) against Streptococcus mutans and its biofilm. ROS producing mechanisms involving FFF with light exposure were determined using a spectrophotometer and a fluorometer. S. mutans and its biofilm inactivation after PDI treatment of FFF using blue light (BL; 450 nm) were determined by plate count method and crystal violet assay, respectively. The biofilm destruction by ROS produced from FFF after exposure to BL was visualized using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and field emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM). BL among 3 light sources produced type 1 ROS the most when applying FFF as a photosensitizer. FFF exposed to BL (5 and 10 J/cm2) significantly more inhibited S. mutans viability and biofilm formation than FFF without the light exposure (p < 0.05). In the PDI of FFF exposed to BL (10 J/cm2), an apparent destruction of S. mutans and its biofilm were observed by the CLSM and FE-SEM. Antibacterial PDI effect of FFF was determined for the first time in this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Photobiology)
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Article
FLTX2: A Novel Tamoxifen Derivative Endowed with Antiestrogenic, Fluorescent, and Photosensitizer Properties
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(10), 5339; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22105339 - 19 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1693
Abstract
Tamoxifen is the most widely used selective modulator of estrogen receptors (SERM) and the first strategy as coadjuvant therapy for the treatment of estrogen-receptor (ER) positive breast cancer worldwide. In spite of such success, tamoxifen is not devoid of undesirable effects, the most [...] Read more.
Tamoxifen is the most widely used selective modulator of estrogen receptors (SERM) and the first strategy as coadjuvant therapy for the treatment of estrogen-receptor (ER) positive breast cancer worldwide. In spite of such success, tamoxifen is not devoid of undesirable effects, the most life-threatening reported so far affecting uterine tissues. Indeed, tamoxifen treatment is discouraged in women under risk of uterine cancers. Recent molecular design efforts have endeavoured the development of tamoxifen derivatives with antiestrogen properties but lacking agonistic uterine tropism. One of this is FLTX2, formed by the covalent binding of tamoxifen as ER binding core, 7-nitrobenzofurazan (NBD) as the florescent dye, and Rose Bengal (RB) as source for reactive oxygen species. Our analyses demonstrate (1) FLTX2 is endowed with similar antiestrogen potency as tamoxifen and its predecessor FLTX1, (2) shows a strong absorption in the blue spectral range, associated to the NBD moiety, which efficiently transfers the excitation energy to RB through intramolecular FRET mechanism, (3) generates superoxide anions in a concentration- and irradiation time-dependent process, and (4) Induces concentration- and time-dependent MCF7 apoptotic cell death. These properties make FLTX2 a very promising candidate to lead a novel generation of SERMs with the endogenous capacity to promote breast tumour cell death in situ by photosensitization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Photobiology)
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Article
Nitrogen-Doped Titanium Dioxide Mixed with Calcium Peroxide and Methylcellulose for Dental Bleaching under Visible Light Activation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(7), 3759; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22073759 - 04 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1736
Abstract
The available tooth whitening products in the market contain high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as an active ingredient. Therefore, in order to curb the high H2O2 concentration and instability of liquid H2O2 [...] Read more.
The available tooth whitening products in the market contain high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as an active ingredient. Therefore, in order to curb the high H2O2 concentration and instability of liquid H2O2, this study evaluated the efficacy and cytotoxicity of the bleaching gel composed of 10% calcium peroxide (CaO2) and visible-light-activating nitrogen-doped titanium dioxide (N-TiO2) with methyl cellulose as a thickener. Extracted bovine teeth were discolored using coffee and black tea stain solution and were divided into two groups (n = 6). Bleaching was performed thrice on each tooth specimen in both the groups, with one minute of visible light irradiation during each bleaching time. The CIELAB L*a*b* values were measured pre- and post-bleaching. The N-TiO2 calcinated at 350 °C demonstrated a shift towards the visible light region by narrowing the band gap energy from 3.23 eV to 2.85 eV. The brightness (ΔL) and color difference (ΔE) increased as bleaching progressed each time in both the groups. ANOVA results showed that the number of bleaching significantly affected ΔE (p < 0.05). The formulated bleaching gel exhibits good biocompatibility and non-toxicity upon exposure to 3T3 cells. Our findings showed that CaO2-based bleaching gel at neutral pH could be a stable, safe, and effective substitute for tooth whitening products currently available in the market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Photobiology)
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Article
Role of Phage Capsid in the Resistance to UV-C Radiations
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(7), 3408; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22073408 - 26 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1391
Abstract
The conformational variation of the viral capsid structure plays an essential role both for the environmental resistance and acid nuclear release during cellular infection. The aim of this study was to evaluate how capsid rearrangement in engineered phages of M13 protects viral DNA [...] Read more.
The conformational variation of the viral capsid structure plays an essential role both for the environmental resistance and acid nuclear release during cellular infection. The aim of this study was to evaluate how capsid rearrangement in engineered phages of M13 protects viral DNA and peptide bonds from damage induced by UV-C radiation. From in silico 3D modelling analysis, two M13 engineered phage clones, namely P9b and 12III1, were chosen for (i) chemical features of amino acids sequences, (ii) rearrangements in the secondary structure of their pVIII proteins and (iii) in turn the interactions involved in phage capsid. Then, their resistance to UV-C radiation and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) was compared to M13 wild-type vector (pC89) without peptide insert. Results showed that both the phage clones acquired an advantage against direct radiation damage, due to a reorganization of interactions in the capsid for an increase of H-bond and steric interactions. However, only P9b had an increase in resistance against H2O2. These results could help to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in the stability of new virus variants, also providing quick and necessary information to develop effective protocols in the virus inactivation for human activities, such as safety foods and animal-derived materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Photobiology)
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Article
In Vitro Photodynamic Effects of the Inclusion Nanocomplexes of Glucan and Chlorin e6 on Atherogenic Foam Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(1), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22010177 - 26 Dec 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1548
Abstract
Macrophage-derived foam cells play critical roles in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis. Activated macrophages and foam cells are important biomarkers for targeted imaging and inflammatory disease therapy. Macrophages also express the dectin-1 receptor, which specifically recognizes β-glucan (Glu). Here, we prepared photoactivatable [...] Read more.
Macrophage-derived foam cells play critical roles in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis. Activated macrophages and foam cells are important biomarkers for targeted imaging and inflammatory disease therapy. Macrophages also express the dectin-1 receptor, which specifically recognizes β-glucan (Glu). Here, we prepared photoactivatable nanoagents (termed Glu/Ce6 nanocomplexes) by encapsulating hydrophobic chlorin e6 (Ce6) within the triple-helix structure of Glu in aqueous condition. Glu/Ce6 nanocomplexes generate singlet oxygen upon laser irradiation. The Glu/Ce6 nanocomplexes were internalized into foam cells and delivered Ce6 molecules into the cytoplasm of foam cells. Upon laser irradiation, they induced significant membrane damage and apoptosis of foam cells. These results suggest that Glu/Ce6 nanocomplexes can be a photoactivatable material for treating atherogenic foam cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Photobiology)
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Review

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Review
BODIPYs in PDT: A Journey through the Most Interesting Molecules Produced in the Last 10 Years
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(17), 10198; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms231710198 - 05 Sep 2022
Viewed by 792
Abstract
Over the past 30 years, photodynamic therapy (PDT) has shown great development. In the clinical setting the few approved molecules belong almost exclusively to the porphyrin family; but in the scientific field, in recent years many researchers have been interested in other families [...] Read more.
Over the past 30 years, photodynamic therapy (PDT) has shown great development. In the clinical setting the few approved molecules belong almost exclusively to the porphyrin family; but in the scientific field, in recent years many researchers have been interested in other families of photosensitizers, among which BODIPY has shown particular interest. BODIPY is the acronym for 4,4-difluoro-4-bora-3a, 4a-diaza-s-indacene, and is a family of molecules well-known for their properties in the field of imaging. In order for these molecules to be used in PDT, a structural modification is necessary which involves the introduction of heavy atoms, such as bromine and iodine, in the beta positions of the pyrrole ring; this change favors the intersystem crossing, and increases the 1O2 yield. This mini review focused on a series of structural changes made to BODIPYs to further increase 1O2 production and bioavailability by improving cell targeting or photoactivity efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Photobiology)
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Review
Photobiomodulation Therapy and the Glymphatic System: Promising Applications for Augmenting the Brain Lymphatic Drainage System
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(6), 2975; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23062975 - 10 Mar 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4656
Abstract
The glymphatic system is a glial-dependent waste clearance pathway in the central nervous system, devoted to drain away waste metabolic products and soluble proteins such as amyloid-beta. An impaired brain glymphatic system can increase the incidence of neurovascular, neuroinflammatory, and neurodegenerative diseases. Photobiomodulation [...] Read more.
The glymphatic system is a glial-dependent waste clearance pathway in the central nervous system, devoted to drain away waste metabolic products and soluble proteins such as amyloid-beta. An impaired brain glymphatic system can increase the incidence of neurovascular, neuroinflammatory, and neurodegenerative diseases. Photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy can serve as a non-invasive neuroprotective strategy for maintaining and optimizing effective brain waste clearance. In this review, we discuss the crucial role of the glymphatic drainage system in removing toxins and waste metabolites from the brain. We review recent animal research on the neurotherapeutic benefits of PBM therapy on glymphatic drainage and clearance. We also highlight cellular mechanisms of PBM on the cerebral glymphatic system. Animal research has shed light on the beneficial effects of PBM on the cerebral drainage system through the clearance of amyloid-beta via meningeal lymphatic vessels. Finally, PBM-mediated increase in the blood–brain barrier permeability with a subsequent rise in Aβ clearance from PBM-induced relaxation of lymphatic vessels via a vasodilation process will be discussed. We conclude that PBM promotion of cranial and extracranial lymphatic system function might be a promising strategy for the treatment of brain diseases associated with cerebrospinal fluid outflow abnormality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Photobiology)
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Review
Exploitation of the Antibacterial Properties of Photoactivated Curcumin as ‘Green’ Tool for Food Preservation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(5), 2600; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23052600 - 26 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1262
Abstract
In the search for non-chemical and green methods to counteract the bacterial contamination of foods, the use of natural substances with antimicrobial properties and light irradiation at proper light waves has been extensively investigated. In particular, the combination of both techniques, called photodynamic [...] Read more.
In the search for non-chemical and green methods to counteract the bacterial contamination of foods, the use of natural substances with antimicrobial properties and light irradiation at proper light waves has been extensively investigated. In particular, the combination of both techniques, called photodynamic inactivation (PDI), is based on the fact that some natural substances act as photosensitizers, i.e., produce bioactive effects under irradiation. Notably, curcumin is a potent natural antibacterial and effective photosensitizer that is able to induce photodynamic activation in the visible light range (specifically for blue light). Some practical applications have been investigated with particular reference to food preservation from bacterial contaminants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Photobiology)
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