A biocompatible photosensitizer with a high intersystem crossing efficiency for precise two-photon photodynamic therapy

Zhourui Xu, Yihang Jiang, Yuanyuan Shen, Lele Tang, Zulu Hu, Guimiao Lin, Wing Cheung Law, Mingze Ma, Biqin Dong, Ken Tye Yong, Gaixia Xu, Ye Tao (Corresponding Author), Runfeng Chen (Corresponding Author), Chengbin Yang (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Photodynamic efficiency is strongly dependent on the generation rate of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the tissue penetration depth. Recent advances in materials science reveal that organic molecules with room-temperature phosphorescence (RTP) can potentially serve as efficient photosensitizers owing to their limited dark cytotoxicity and abundant triplet excitons upon light irradiation. In this study, we combine RTP materials with two-photon excitation to improve the ROS generation, therapeutic precision, and tissue penetration of photodynamic therapy. We successfully prepared a novel RTP-based photosensitizer (BF2DCz) with a high photoluminescence quantum yield of 47.7 ± 3% and a remarkable intersystem crossing efficiency of ∼90.3%. By encapsulation into the bovine serum albumin (BSA) matrix, BF2DCz-BSA exhibits excellent biocompatibility, negligible dark toxicity, and superior photostability. Excitation using a femtosecond laser causes BF2DCz-BSA to efficiently generate ROS and precisely exert cell damage at the desired location.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1283-1292
Number of pages10
JournalMaterials Horizons
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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