Tumour cell death induced by the bulk photovoltaic effect of LiNbO3:Fe under visible light irradiation
This work reports a pioneer application of the bulk photovoltaic effect in the biomedical field. Massive necrotic cell death was induced in human tumour cell cultures grown on a bulk photovoltaic material (iron-doped lithium niobate, LiNbO3:Fe) after irradiation with visible light. Lethal doses (≈100% cell death) were obtained with low-intensity visible light sources (10–100 mW cm−2 irradiances) and short exposure times of the order of minutes. The wavelength dependence to induce the lethal effect observed is consistent with that corresponding to the bulk photovoltaic effect generation in LiNbO3:Fe. Necrosis also occurred when cultured tumour cells were exposed to LiNbO3:Fe microparticles and visible light.