Study examines the use of light in medical therapy

A study published in a special issue of Photochemistry and Photobiology examines the emerging practice of drug delivery systems which use the application of light to activate medications in the body.

The process uses biocompatible materials that are sensitive to certain physiological variables or external physicochemical . Changes in external or internal body conditions can be used to achieve control of the delivery. There are systems that can respond to small changes in , temperature, pH or the concentration of specific substances.

Current research on the drug delivery systems is focused on developing systems capable of delivering the adequate dose of drug at the target site, avoiding collateral effects and enhancing the therapeutic efficiency. In the case of cancer, light-sensitive systems are particularly useful for direct treatment of malignant cells and minimizing damage to healthy cells.

External control of drug delivery offers a number of advantages. The process enables an easy and precise control of the medication. Switching the light on and off also triggers or stops the release of medication. This can often be done by the patient.

"Near-infrared (NIR) light is particularly useful as an agent capable of triggering the drug release," says Carmen Alvarez-Lorenzo, co-author of the study. "NIR is innocuous, does not cause significant heating in the area of its application and can be useful in the difficult to access areas of the body."

Source: Wiley (news : web)


Explore further

New 'bubble' targets only cancer cells

Citation: Study examines the use of light in medical therapy (2009, March 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-03-medical-therapy.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more