Low-dose photodynamic therapy effect on closure of scratch wounds of normal and diabetic fibroblast cells: An in vitro study

Khatereh Khorsandi, Reza Fekrazad, Michael R. Hamblin

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Chronic wounds such as diabetic ulcers are a serious public health problem. Extensive research is needed to find new alternatives for wound treatment. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a non-invasive method, which has been studied for several decades to treat cancer, infections, and other diseases. PDT involves the administration of a photosensitizer compound followed by irradiation with using light at specific wavelength to produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) using molecular oxygen. It is possible that low dose photodynamic therapy (LDPDT) could improve wound healing and stimulates the cell repair process. This study we explored the effect of LDPDT on wound healing in vitro using normal and diabetic cellular wound models. The effects of different concentrations of 5-ALA and different energy densities (dark or light) on the cell viability of human fibroblast cells were studied using the MTT assay. After ascertaining the optimum parameters, a scratch wound assay was performed on both normal and diabetic cells and then cells treated with 1 and 5 μg/mL of 5-ALA at 1 J/cm2 energy density. ROS production and morphological alteration of the cells were studied. The mortality of normal fibroblast cells increased with increasing 5-ALA concentration and also increasing energy density (up to 3 J/cm2). However, in diabetic cells, the mortality rate did not decrease. Diabetic cells showed increased migration and closure of the scratch compared to normal cells under similar conditions. A low concentration of 5-ALA (5 μg/mL) and low energy density of 1 J/cm2 in both normal and diabetic cells gave a small increase in ROS levels compared to controls. This may explain the positive effects of LDPDT on wound healing. The findings of this study suggest that LDPDT may have a potential effect on the wound healing of diabetic wounds.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202100005
JournalJournal of Biophotonics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • 5-ALA
  • ROS
  • diabetes
  • low-dose photodynamic therapy
  • wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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