Proven science, new opportunities

Photodynamic Therapy: a proven medical treatment, shows new pathogen-fighting promise.

The Singletto team of Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) experts, chemists, virologists, surgeons, and researchers use light-activated dyes to generate singlet oxygen that destroys pathogens, including the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and potentially the common cold, seasonal flu, and harmful bacteria.

Photodynamic Therapy

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) only requires light, a light-activated dye (LAD), and oxygen.

Though phototherapy has been used since ancient times in Greece, Egypt, and India, the first major clinical use of Photodynamic Therapy to treat cancer occurred in the 1960s.

Currently, PDT is used to treat many types of cancer (skin, lung, brain, bladder, pancreas, bile duct, esophagus, and head and neck), skin diseases, eye diseases, and more.

PDT can destroy cancer cells through the reaction between light and a photosensitizer. The singlet oxygen produced from this reaction causes cell death in cancer.

Neurosurgeon and PDT expert Dr. James Chen first hypothesized that the concepts of PDT could be applied to the disinfection of pathogens, as well. This hypothesis was tested and confirmed in the Development of Methods for Mask and N95 Decontamination (DeMaND) study conceived by Dr. Chen and others in the World Health Organization (WHO)-assembled consortium studying PPE and mask decontamination.

Light-Activated Dyes (LADs)

LADs take energy from light sources and transfer the energy to surrounding oxygen; they are used in medical procedures, especially in the fight against cancer.

Certain esophagus and lung cancers are treated with PDT using the LAD porfimer sodium (Photofrin). Certain skin conditions are treated with PDT using the LAD aminolevulinic acid (ALA or Levulan).  Certain eye conditions are treated with the LAD benzporhyrin deriVisudyne.

Light-activated dyes are special molecules that can absorb light. Methylene Blue (an essential medicine per the WHO) and Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) are light-activated dyes used for plasma disinfection prior to transfusions in the healthcare setting. New research shows that these dyes are also powerful photosensitizing options for Photodynamic Therapy against COVID-19.

The DeMaND study published initially in medRxiv highlights the power of the light-activated Methylene Blue in destroying the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Small doses of Methylene Blue diluted in water and activated by bright light led to greater than 99.9% inactivation of virus. Even in low light, the virus was inactivated on masks treated with Methylene Blue.

Singlet Oxygen

Singlet oxygen has been known and studied by scientists for over 80 years.

Singlet oxygen is created in the environment constantly by sunlight and by many plants (ex: grapefruit, celery, paprika, turnips) and is essential to many biological processes. Singlet oxygen has been shown to destroy pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses.

Light-activated dyes can increase singlet oxygen production in the air. These short bursts of energized oxygen can break apart the chemical bonds of harmful pathogens. Singlet Oxygen is extremely short-lived and quickly reverts back to the oxygen that we breathe if not reacting with an immediate target.

Development of Methods for Mask and N95 Decontamination (DeMaND) Study

In collaboration with a consortium of labs around the world, Singletto founders Drs. Chen, Lendvay, and Clark conducted extensive research on the decontamination effects of the light-activated dye Methylene Blue on viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. The positive results of such study have just been released to the public. View the entire Development of Methods for Mask and N95 Decontamination (DeMaND) study at medRxiv. or the Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology peer-reviewed medical journal.

Drs. Lendvay, Chen, and Clark, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and 52 researchers from 13 universities and labs, including the University of Washington, Stanford University, George Washington University, and others, discovered Methylene Blue (a light-activated dye) inactivates SARS-CoV-2 on masks and N95 respirators. The main takeaways:

-Methylene Blue with light decontaminated masks and respirators by inactivating three tested coronaviruses (including the coronavirus that causes COVID-19) without compromising material integrity.

- Masks and respirators pre-treated with Methylene Blue were shown to offer ongoing inactivation of coronavirus during use.

-Even in low light settings, the Methylene Blue solution was able to inactivate virus.

The implications of the DeMaND study are undeniable. While the study focused on healthcare and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Singletto believes there are lifestyle applications. Average moms and dads need to affordably protect themselves, their children, and others from coronavirus and other dangerous pathogens. Singletto is partnering with trusted brands to enhance everyday products with this pathogen-fighting technology. Ongoing research from Singletto labs will continue to be published here on the Singletto website.

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