Unique diagnostic and therapeutic roles of porphyrins and phthalocyanines in photodynamic therapy, imaging and theranostics

Theranostics. 2012;2(9):916-66. doi: 10.7150/thno.4571. Epub 2012 Oct 4.


Porphyrinic molecules have a unique theranostic role in disease therapy; they have been used to image, detect and treat different forms of diseased tissue including age-related macular degeneration and a number of different cancer types. Current focus is on the clinical imaging of tumour tissue; targeted delivery of photosensitisers and the potential of photosensitisers in multimodal biomedical theranostic nanoplatforms. The roles of porphyrinic molecules in imaging and pdt, along with research into improving their selective uptake in diseased tissue and their utility in theranostic applications are highlighted in this Review.

Keywords: imaging; nanoagents; phototherapy; tetrapyrrolic photosensitisers; theranostics.