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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 4057959, 11 pages
Research Article

Effect of Curcumin-Nanoemulsion Associated with Photodynamic Therapy in Cervical Carcinoma Cell Lines

1Institute of Biosciences, Humanities and Exact Sciences (IBILCE), Department of Biology, São Paulo State University (UNESP), Rua Cristóvão Colombo, 2265 Bairro Jardim Nazareth, 15054-010 São José do Rio Preto, SP, Brazil
2Department of Chemistry, Center of Nanotechnology and Tissue Engineering-Photobiology and Photomedicine Research Group, Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Av. Bandeirantes 3900, Ribeirão Preto, SP 14040-901, Brazil
3Center for Translational Research in Oncology, Instituto de Câncer do Estado de São Paulo (ICESP), Av. Dr. Arnaldo 251, 8° Andar, Bairro Cerqueira César, 01246-000 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
4Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Araraquara, Department of Bioprocess and Biotechnology, São Paulo State University (UNESP), Rodovia Araraquara/Jaú, Km 01, s/n, Campos Ville, 14800-903 Araraquara, SP, Brazil
5Faculdade de Medicina, Department of Radiology and Oncology, Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Av. Dr. Arnaldo 251, 8° Andar, Bairro Cerqueira César, 01246-000 São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Correspondence should be addressed to Paula Rahal

Received 23 August 2017; Revised 4 December 2017; Accepted 12 December 2017; Published 17 January 2018

Academic Editor: Sanjula Baboota

Copyright © 2018 Renata Prandini Adum de Matos et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cervical cancer is the fourth cause of cancer death in women. Curcumin has antineoplastic properties. Furthermore, curcumin may be used as a photosensitizing agent in Photodynamic Therapy. This study aimed to investigate the effects of Photodynamic Therapy in cellular viability using curcumin-nanoemulsion as a photosensitizing drug in cervical carcinoma cell lines. The empty nanoemulsion presented very low cytotoxicity in all cell lines analyzed. Additionally, the incubation with curcumin-nanoemulsion at 20 μM of curcumin showed more than 80% of cell viability for cell lines. Nanoemulsions were shown to be internalized inside cells by fluorescence microscopy and were observed in the intracellular environment for up to 36 hours after incubation with cell lines. In addition, after the Photodynamic Therapy we observed a high phototoxic effect of the curcumin-nanoemulsion with less than 5% of viable cells after irradiation. This was accompanied by an increase in caspase-3/caspase-7 activities after cell treatment with curcumin-nanoemulsion and Photodynamic Therapy, suggesting cell death by apoptosis. We conclude that the curcumin-nanoemulsion formulation behaves as a photosensitizing drug in Photodynamic Therapy and shows potential as an alternative treatment to cervical lesions using an endoscopic diode fiber laser setup for in situ activation or cavity activation using a diffuse fiber delivery system.