A Smart Europium-Ruthenium Complex as Anticancer Prodrug: Controllable Drug Release and Real-Time Monitoring under Different Light Excitations

Hongguang Li, Chen Xie, Rongfeng Lan, Shuai Zha, Chi Fai Chan, Wing Yan Wong, Ka Lok Ho, Brandon Dow Chan, Yuxia Luo, Jing Xiang Zhang, Ga Lai Law, Chi Shing Tai, Jean Claude G. Bünzli, Ka Leung Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


A unique, dual-function, photoactivatable anticancer prodrug, RuEuL, has been tailored that features a ruthenium(II) complex linked to a cyclen-europium chelate via a π-conjugated bridge. Under irradiation at 488 nm, the dark-inactive prodrug undergoes photodissociation, releasing the DNA-damaging ruthenium species. Under evaluation-window irradiation (λirr= one-photon 350 nm or two-photon 700 nm), the drug delivery process can be quantitatively monitored in real-time because of the long-lived red europium emission. Linear relationships between released drug concentration and ESI-MS or luminescence responses are established. Finally, the efficiency of the new prodrug is demonstrated both in vitro RuEuL anticancer prodrug over some existing ones and open the way for decisive improvements in multipurpose prodrugs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8923-8932
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery

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