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Singlet oxygen lifetime changes in dying glioblastoma cells.

Time-resolved phosphorescence detection was employed to determine the lifetime of singlet oxygen in live cells. Using hypericin as a photosensitizer, singlet oxygen was generated in U87MG glioblastoma cells. The phosphorescence of singlet oxygen was detected in aqueous cell suspensions following pulsed laser excitation. Our goal was to eliminate or reduce the problems associated with lifetime measurements in water-based cell suspensions. The apparatus enabled simultaneous singlet oxygen phosphorescence and transient absorption measurements, reducing uncertainty in lifetime estimation. The changes in singlet oxygen lifetime were observed during early and late apoptosis induced by photodynamic action. Our findings show that the effective lifetime of singlet oxygen in the intracellular space of the studied glioblastoma cells is 0.4 μs and increases to 1.5 μs as apoptosis progresses. Another group of hypericin, presumably located in the membrane blebs and the plasma membrane of apoptotic cells, generates singlet oxygen with a lifetime of 1.9 μs.

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