Pilot in vitro toxicity study of 5-ALA and Photofrin® in microvascular endothelial cell cultures

Cheng Jen Chang, Yi Hsuan Lee, Jui Yung Yang, Chau Jin Weng, Fu Chan Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Complicated hemangiomas are unique problems in which intervention with the proper laser can be an ideal solution. In this study we evaluated the toxicity of 5-Aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) and Photofrin® using in vitro models. The in vitro toxicity of 5-ALA and Photofrin® was examined in a microvascular endothelial cell (MEC) culture system. The measurement of the percentage of MEC killed by various drug concentration using fluorescence viability assay. MEC incubated with 5-ALA at various concentrations for evaluation of dark toxicity showed less than a 50% cell kill. A comparison of different intervals of subcultured MEC showed that the early subculture (3 days after primary culture) is more vulnerable than later subculture (7 days after). Cells treated with Photofrin® at various concentrations exhibited less than 50% cell kill (dark toxicity). The comparison of different intervals of subculture (3 days and 7 days after primary culture) showed a result similar to that of 5-ALA. All controls showed 0% cell kill. In conclusion, both 5-ALA and Photofrin® are capable of destroying human microvascular endothelial cells in vitro. Drug concentrations and the power density for photodynamic therapy should be considered and will be included in our subsequent studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-87
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Laser Medicine and Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 22 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Biomedical Engineering


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