Resistance to various anthelmintic drugs is reported in many animals and can become a severe problem for human and animal health. In this study, Photogem® and three curcuminoids compounds (curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin) were used as photosensitizers in the photodynamic inactivation (PDI) in the helminth model Caenorhabditis elegans to investigate the ability of this procedure to worm life cycle. Initially, the presence and location of the photosensitizers in the worm's body were verified by fluorescence confocal microscopy. Curcumin was deposited in the digestive tract and Photogem® along the body of the animal in the incubation time of 12 hours with the photosensitizer. Subsequently, a PDI procedure using a LED device was performed to illuminate the worms treated with the photosensitizers. The worms were observed by optical microscopy until 48 hours after the PDI to verify the changes in motility, the presence of eggs and larvae and the number of live worms. Curcuminoids tested separately and in combination and two light doses of 30 J/m2 no changes were observed in the life cycle of the worm at concentrations of 2 mM and 1 mM. However, in treatment with Photogem® and a light dose of 100 J/m2 a reduction in motility and reproduction of the worm with 0.2 mg/mL was observed after 6 hours of exposure, in addition to the death of most worms at concentrations of 6, 4, and 2 mg/mL. We suggest, therefore, that photodynamic inactivation with Photogem® may present an anthelmintic effect against C. elegans, but there is a need for studies on helminths with parasitic activity.
The optical microscopy is one of the most powerful tool in the analysis of biological systems. The usual transmitted light microscope uses a white light lamp as source, what sometimes does not bring optimal results, making it necessary to introduce filters to change some illumination properties like the color temperature or the color itself. There is, of course, an intrinsic limitation on the use of filters that is the lack of an analogical control on the illumination properties and a practical limitation that depends on the number of available filters. To address this need, we developed an illumination system based on (Red, Green and Blue) RGB LEDs, were the microscope operator can control the intensity of each one independently and manually. This paper details the developed system and describes the methods used to compare quantitatively the images acquired while using the standard white light illumination and the images obtained with the developed system. To quantify the contrast, we calculated the relative population standard deviation for the intensities of each channel of the RGB image. This procedure allowed us to compare and understand the major advantages of the developed illumination system. All analysis methods have shown that a contrast enhancement can be obtained under the RGB LEDs light. The presented illumination allowed us to visualize the structures in different samples with a better contrast without the need of any additional optical filters.
Recently a few demonstration on the use of Photodynamic Reaction as possibility to eliminate larvae that transmit diseases for men has been successfully demonstrated. This promising tool cannot be vastly used due to many problems, including the lake of investigation concerning the mechanisms of larvae killing as well as security concerning the use of photosensitizers in open environment. In this study, we investigate some of the mechanisms in which porphyrin (Photogem) is incorporated on the Aedes aegypti larvae previously to illumination and killing. Larvae at second instar were exposed to the photosensitizer and after 30 minutes imaged by a confocal fluorescence microscope. It was observed the presence of photosensitizer in the gut and at the digestive tract of the larva. Fluorescence-Lifetime Imaging showed greater photosensitizer concentration in the intestinal wall of the samples, which produces a strong decrease of the Photogem fluorescence lifetime. For Photodynamic Therapy exposition to different light doses and concentrations of porphyrin were employed. Three different light sources (LED, Fluorescent lamp, Sun light) also were tested. Sun light and fluorescent lamp shows close to 100% of mortality after 24 hrs. of illumination. These results indicate the potential use of photodynamic effect against the LARVAE of Aedes aegypti.