Pulsed laser light forces cancer cells to absorb anticancer drugs - The role of water in nanomedicine

Andrei P. Sommer, Dan Zhu, Adam R. Mester, Horst Dieter Föarsterling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


Anticancer drugs executing their function intracellularly enter cancer cells via diffusive processes. Complementary to these slow processes, cells can be forced to incorporate drugs by convection - a more efficient transport process. Transmembrane convection is induced by moderately intense pulsed laser light (or light emitting diodes) changing the structure of nanoscopic water layers in cells. This is a fundamental difference with the method of photodynamic therapy. In a model system we demonstrate that a total irradiation time of one minute is sufficient to completely inhibit proliferation of cancer cells. Transmembrane convection protects healthy cells from extended chemotherapy exposure, could be exploited to overcome multidrug resistance, and is a promising new tool in a variety of therapies as well as in skin rejuvenation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-173
Number of pages5
JournalArtificial Cells, Blood Substitutes, and Biotechnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2011



  • cancer
  • cells
  • cytostatic
  • cytotoxic
  • intracellular interfaces
  • laser
  • light emitting diodes
  • transmembrane convection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering

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