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Rational Design of Near-Infrared-Absorbing Pt(II)-Chelated Azadipyrromethene Dyes as a New Generation of Photosensitizers for Synergistic Phototherapy

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posted on 2020-12-09, 22:33 authored by Mingdang Li, Yunjian Xu, Menglong Zhao, Feiyang Li, Wei Feng, Teng Feng, Shujuan Liu, Qiang Zhao
Pt­(II) photosensitizers are emerging as novel Pt anticancer agents for cancer photodynamic therapy (PDT) to avoid uncontrollable toxicity of cisplatin. However, the application of Pt­(II) photosensitizers is limited by tumor hypoxia and the poor penetration depth of excitation light. To overcome these drawbacks, exploiting the next generation of Pt anticancer agents is of urgent need. According to theoretical calculations, novel near-infrared (NIR)-absorbing Pt­(II)-chelated azadipyrromethene dyes (PtDP-X, where X = N, C, and S) were designed. Importantly, spin–orbit coupling of the Pt atom could promote the intersystem crossing of a singlet-to-triplet transition for converting oxygen to singlet oxygen (1O2), and the azadipyrromethene skeleton could provide a strong photothermal effect. As expected, PtDP-X exhibited intense NIR absorption and synergistic PDT and photothermal effects with low dark cytotoxicity. Furthermore, water-soluble and biocompatible PtDP-N nanoparticles (PtDP-N NPs) were prepared that achieved effective tumor cell elimination with low side effects under 730 nm light irradiation in vitro and in vivo. This pioneering work could push the exploitation of NIR-absorbing metal-chelated azadipyrromethene dyes, so as to promote the positive evolution of phototherapy agents.

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