Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a highly efficient inducer of apoptosis in EY-28 bladder carcinoma cells, resulting in extensive DNA fragmentation. Bladder carcinoma cells EY-28 (Tumorbank Heidelberg, Germany) were incubated for 1 h with 1 (mu) g AamTPPn/ml or 2 (mu) g AamTPPn/ml. After incubation cells were refed with complete medium and irradiated with 0.75 J/cm2. To identify apoptotic cells, a in situ cell death detection kit POD (Boehringer Mannheim, Germany) was used. The chromatin condensation characteristic to apoptotic cells was detected by transmission electron microscopy. Using 1 (mu) g AamTPPn/ml and 2 (mu) g AamTPPn/ml (9-Acetamido-2,7,12,17- tetra-n-Porpylporphycene), respectively, and irradiation at 0.75 J/cm2, a percentage of 36.9% and 54.7%, respectively, of apoptotic cells was detected.