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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 637601, 7 pages
Research Article

Photodynamic Action of LED-Activated Curcumin against Staphylococcus aureus Involving Intracellular ROS Increase and Membrane Damage

1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Second Affiliated Hospital, Chongqing Medical College, Chongqing 400010, China
2School of Chinese Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong
3Department of Microbiology, College of Basic Medical Science, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China
4Shenzhen Research Institute, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen 518057, China

Received 27 January 2014; Accepted 28 April 2014; Published 14 May 2014

Academic Editor: Timon Cheng-Yi Liu

Copyright © 2014 Yuan Jiang 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.


Aim. To investigate the effect of photodynamic action of LED-activated curcumin on cell viability, membrane permeability, and intracellular reactive oxygen species of Staphylococcus aureus. Methods. Staphylococcus aureus was incubated with the different concentrations of curcumin for 60 min and then irradiated by blue light with the wavelength of 470 nm and with light dose of 3 J/cm2. The colony forming unit assay was used to investigate photocytotoxicity of curcumin on Staphylococcus aureus, confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and flow cytometry (FCM) for assaying membrane permeability, FCM analysis with DCFH-DA staining for measuring the intracellular ROS level, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) for observing morphology and structure. Results. Blue light-activated curcumin significantly killed Staphylococcus aureus in a curcumin dose-dependent manner. TEM observed remarkable structural damages in S. aureus after light-activated curcumin. More red fluorescence of PI dye was found in S. aureus treated by blue light-activated curcumin than in those of the controlled bacterial cells. Intracellular ROS increase was observed after light-activated curcumin. Conclusion. Blue light-activated curcumin markedly damaged membrane permeability, resulting in cell death of Staphylococcus aureus and highlighted that intracellular ROS increase might be an important event in photodynamic killing of Staphylococcus aureus in the presence of curcumin.