Oral Health Upgrade: The Promise of Bremachlorin

Bremachlorin® is a light-sensitive compound or photosensitizer that holds promise for optimizing  photodynamic therapy (PDT) for people with cancer and infectious diseases.  This agent has the ability to enter living cells with ease and accumulates far more strongly in tumor tissues than in the surrounding healthy tissues.  After this accumulation, light treatment is carried out, typically with laser or light-emitting diode (LED) lights, depending on the specific therapeutic situation.

Bremachlorin-PDT is also being considered as viable treatment option for common infections that have become increasingly resistant to antibiotics.  Using various photosensitizers and light sources, scientists have found that PDT has a strong therapeutic impact on a large number of oral gram-positive and negative bacteria.  Bremachlorin-PDT is just one of many strategies that have indicated considerable promise for improving oral health problems.

One example of how Bremachlorin-PDT could be useful in this regard is in the treatment of most common disease in the world: dental caries or “cavities”.  This term refers to the loss of minerals from the teeth, resulting in their decay or breakdown.  Such tooth decay comes about as the result of bacterial activity and plaque biofilm formation on the teeth inside the mouth.

The main bacterial culprit is the group of streptococci such as Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans). This bacterium produces acids that lower the pH of the mouth, causing tooth demineralization.  Aside from avoiding sugar and good oral hygiene, there is the possibility of treating the mouth with Bremachlorin-PDT.  These findings were reported in the May 2014 issue of Lasers in Medical Science.


Killing the Most Harmful Oral Bacteria

Bremachlorin®  tends to concentrate in the bacteria known as  S. mutans.  Upon exposure to a harmless light source, highly reactive oxygen molecules are generated that can damage and destroy the bacteria.  In a recent study, researchers from Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran sought to compare the specific antibacterial effect of PDT with two different photosensitizers and light sources: (1) Toluidine blue O (TBO) powder with LED light, and (2) Bremachlorin® as radahlorin solution 0.35% activated by a Diode Laser 662 nm.

The study found that both types of PDT led to a significant reduction in the numbers of S. mutans bacteria, with no significant difference between TBO and Bremachlorin® regimens, as reported in the 24 January 2014 issue of Neurologia. Neither the light sources nor the photosensitizers alone (in the dark) had any effect on the survival of S. mutans —it was only their photodynamic combination that led to the desired treatment effect.

Some clinical trials on Bremachlorin® have shown significant advantages over other photosensitizers, including very low toxicity in the dark, rapid elimination from the body, and intensive absorption band at relatively large wavelengths where tissues are more transparent. Research is needed to compare different intensities of LED light with Bremachlorin-PDT, as LEDs are considered more practical than laser.

In any case, this study clearly indicates that PDT could be helpful for elimination of cariogenic bacteria prior to restorative procedures. Consequently, this could allow maximal preservation of tooth tissue and a more favorable long-term prognosis for the restored tooth.

Moreover, “in patients with high risk of caries, Bremachlorin-PDT can be a novel approach as a preventive protocol to control caries, although the high cost of PDT must be considered,” the Iranian authors write.  “…we can conclude that PDT with these photosensitizers may be helpful in caries preventive and treatment protocols.”


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Hakimiha N1, Khoei F1, Bahador A2, Fekrazad R3. The susceptibility of Streptococcus mutans to antibacterial photodynamic therapy: a comparison of two different photosensitizers and light sources. J Appl Oral Sci. 2014 Apr;22(2):80-4.

Biswas R1, Moon JH, Ahn JC. Chlorin e6 Derivative Radachlorin Mainly Accumulates in Mitochondria, Lysosome and Endoplasmic Reticulum and Shows High Affinity towards Tumors in Nude Mice in Photodynamic Therapy. Photochem Photobiol. 2014 Mar 26. doi: 10.1111/php.12273. [Epub ahead of print]


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