3 years ago

Evaluation of cell damage induced by irradiated Zinc-Phthalocyanine-gold dendrimeric nanoparticles in a breast cancer cell line

Ivan Mfouo-tynga, Nicolette Nadene Houreld, Heidi Abrahamse

Publication date: August 2018

Source: Biomedical Journal, Volume 41, Issue 4

Author(s): Ivan Mfouo-Tynga, Nicolette Nadene Houreld, Heidi Abrahamse


Cancer is a non-communicable disease that occurs following a mutation in the genes which control cell growth. Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer among South African women and a major cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an alternative cancer therapy that uses photochemotherapeutic agents, known as photosensitizers. Drug-delivery nanoparticles are commonly used in nanomedicine to enhance drug-therapeutic efficiency. This study evaluated the photodynamic effects following treatment with 0.3 μM multiple particles delivery complex (MPDC) and irradiated with a laser fluence of 10 J/cm2 using a 680 nm diode laser in a breast cancer cell line (MCF-7).


Cell damage was assessed by inverted light microscopy for cell morphology; the Apoptox-Glo triple assay was used for cell viability, caspase activity and identification of cytodamage markers; flow cytometric analysis for cell death pathways and mitochondrial membrane potential; the enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for cytochrome C release; and real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) array for gene expression.


Laser activated-MPDC induced a significant change in morphology of PDT-treated cells, with the appearance of apoptotic like morphological features. An increase in cytotoxicity, caspase activity, cell depolarization and cytochrome C release were identified in PDT-treated cells. Finally, the upregulation of BAX, BCL-2, CASP-2 and ULK-1 genes was observed.


The MPDC yielded a successful and stable hybrid agent with potent photodynamic abilities.

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