Acridine Orange as a Novel Photosensitizer for Photodynamic Therapy in Glioblastoma

Hany Osman, Deena Elsahy, M. Reza Saadatzadeh, Karen E. Pollok, Steven Yocom, Eyas M. Hattab, Joseph Georges, Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Background: Photodynamic therapy combines the effects of a chemical agent with the physical energy from light or radiation to result in lysis of cells. Acridine orange (AO) is a molecule with fluorescence properties that has been demonstrated to possess photosensitizing properties. The objective of this study was to investigate the photodynamic effect of AO on glioblastoma cell viability and growth. Methods: Glioblastoma cells (N = 8000 cells/well at 0 hours) were exposed to AO followed by white unfiltered light-emitting diode light. Cultures were exposed to either 10 or 30 minutes of light. The cell number per well was determined at 0, 24, 48, and 72 hours after exposure. Results: A dramatic cytocidal effect of AO after exposure to 10 minutes of white light was observed. There was almost complete eradication of glioblastoma cells over a 72-hour period. Although AO or light alone exhibited some effect on cell growth, it was not as pronounced as the combination of AO and light. Conclusions: This is the first study to our knowledge to demonstrate the photodynamic effect of AO in glioblastoma cells. These data support the need for further studies to characterize and evaluate whether this striking cytotoxic effect can be achieved in vivo. The combination of AO and exposure to white unfiltered light-emitting diode light may have potential future applications in management of glioblastoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1310-e1315
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • Glioma
  • In vivo
  • Microscopy
  • Neurosurgery
  • Oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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