Light Sources and Dosimetry Techniques for Photodynamic Therapy

Published in: Photochemistry and Photobiology

Authors: Michele M. Kim, Arash Darafsheh


Effective treatment delivery in photodynamic therapy (PDT) requires coordination of the light source, the photosensitizer, and the delivery device appropriate to the target tissue. Lasers, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and lamps are the main types of light sources utilized for PDT applications. The choice of light source depends on the target location, photosensitizer used, and light dose to be delivered. Geometry of minimally accessible areas also plays a role in deciding light applicator type. Typically, optical fiber-based devices are used to deliver the treatment light close to the target. The optical properties of tissue also affect the distribution of the treatment light. Treatment light undergoes scattering and absorption in tissue. Most tissue will scatter light, but highly pigmented areas will absorb light, especially at short wavelengths. This review will summarize the basic physics of light sources, and describe methods for determining the dose delivered to the patient.


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