Applications of functionalized nanomaterials in photodynamic therapy

Olayemi J. Fakayode, Ncediwe Tsolekile, Sandile P. Songca, Oluwatobi S. Oluwafemi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Specially designed functionalized nanomaterials such as superparamagnetic iron oxide, gold, quantum dots and up- and down-conversion lanthanide series nanoparticles have consistently and completely revolutionized the biomedical environment over the past few years due to their specially inferring properties, such as specific drug delivery, plasmonic effect, optical and imaging properties, therapeutic thermal energy productionand excellent irresistible cellular penetration. These properties have been used to improve many existing disease treatment modalities and have led to the development of better therapeutic approaches for the advancement of the treatment of critical human diseases, such as cancers and related malaise. In photodynamic therapy, for example, where the delivery of therapeutic agents should ideally avoid toxicity on nearby healthy cells, superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles have been shown to be capable of making photodynamic therapy (PDT) prodrugs and their associative targeting moieties tumor-specific via their unique response to an external magnetic fields. In this review, the nanomaterials commonly employed for the enhancement of photodynamic therapy are discussed. The review further describes the various methods of synthesis and characterization of these nanomaterials and highlights challenges for improving the efficacy of PDT in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-67
Number of pages19
JournalBiophysical Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Lanthanide
  • Nanomaterials
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Quantum dots
  • Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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