UNAIR First Biophysics Professor utilizes photodynamics for medical innovation

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Prof. Dr. Suryani Dyah Astuti, S.Si., M.Si delivered a scientific oration at her inauguration as UNAIR professors at Garuda Mukti Hall, Campus C UNAIR. (Photo: Muhammad Alif fauzan)

UNAIR NEWS – In health sector, since 1990, it has been proven that bacteria causing a disease in humans are capable of forming a biofilm. It is a structured community of bacterial cells capable of attaching to biological surfaces as well as inanimate objects. These biofilms are associated with chronic infectious diseases.

With this formation, the biofilm-making bacteria are able to withstand extreme dangerous environments. Clinically, this bacterial infection causes resistance (inhibitor, ed) to antibiotics. However, antibiotic therapy generally only kills planktonic bacterial cells (which swim outside the biofilm) while the bacteria that are tightly packed in the biofilm will survive and thrive.

In her oration at Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR) Professorship Inauguration ceremony on Thursday, October 10, 2020, Prof. Dr. Suryani Dyah Astuti, S.Si., M.Si., elaborated the innovation on photonic-based medical instrument development for antimicrobial and biomodulation therapy which are alternative methods to treat biofilm infections in chronic diseases.

On this occasion, Prof. Dyah said that photodynamic therapy is a method used to remove harmful cells such as microbes, cancer and infectious diseases. This innovation with the combination of light, photosensitizer and oxygen will cause photoinactivation in bacteria.

“Which is the inhibition of cell metabolic activity because of damage to cytoplasmic membranes due to peroxidation by reactive oxygen,” said the 14th active professor of Faculty of Science and Technology.

According to Prof. Dyah, photosensitization as a combination is a process of light absorption by photosensitizer molecules which then activates chemical reactions to produce various reactive oxygen species. According to the professor born in Klaten, photosensitization depends on the type and concentration of porphyrin, which acts as a light-absorbing molecule.

Naturally, she continued, some bacteria synthesize porphyrin compounds as endogenous photosensitizer molecules that are sensitive to light. According to Prof. Dyah, the porphyrin spectrum consists of two separate bands, appearing in the near ultraviolet region and the visible light region, which causes porphyrin rich in colors.

“This sensitivity to light is mainly related to the wavelength of light that is exposed. Most of the porphyrin absorbs in the visible light region (400 – 700 nano meters), “said the professor of biophysics.

Furthermore, Prof. Dyah also explained that the presence of nano-sized photosensitizer (10 -9 m) can increase the percentage of energy absorption, so it is more effective to produce ROS (Reactive oxgen Species). From this, it is known that the research results show that silver nano particles (AgNPs) are effective in increasing the reduction of bacterial biofilms.

“As another example, nano doxycycline is a nano-sized doxycyclin which has more ability to penetrate biofilms and is able to absorb greater light energy due to the wide surface area of ​​light absorption. The use of nano doxycycline on planktonic bacteria and biofilms produces a significant reduction effect,” explained the alumnus of UNAIR Doctoral program.

Prof. Dyah and the team have developed medical instruments with various products, including the biomodulation dentolaser which can be useful for wound healing and acupuncture. The development started in 2007 with mice testing animals and was developed to become a patented product. *

Author: Asthesia Dhea Cantika

Editor: Khefti Al Mawalia

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