NYMC Faculty Publications

Multivalent Phthalocyanine-Based Cationic Polymers With Enhanced Photodynamic Activity for the Bacterial Capture and Bacteria-Infected Wound Healing

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Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology


The solubility and photosensitive activity of phthalocyanine are crucial to photodynamic antibacterial performance. However, highly conjugated phthalocyanine with high singlet oxygen generation efficiency tends to aggregate in aqueous environments, leading to poor solubility and photodynamic antibacterial activity. Herein, we propose a novel photodynamic antibacterial therapeutic platform by a phthalocyanine-based polymeric photosensitizer for the efficient healing of a bacteria-infected wound. A prepared phthalocyanine-based chain-transfer agent and a tertiary amino group-containing monomer are applied in the reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer polymerization for the preparation of the polymeric photosensitizer, which is subsequently quaternized to obtain a positively charged surface. This water-soluble phthalocyanine-based polymer can strongly concentrate on bacterial membranes via electrostatic interaction. The formed singlet oxygen by the phthalocyanine-based polymer after 680 nm light irradiation plays an essential role in killing the Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The study of antibacterial action indicates that this nanocomposite can cause irreversible damage to the bacterial membranes, which can cause cytoplasm leakage and bacterial death. Moreover, this therapeutic platform has excellent biocompatibility and the capacity to heal the wounds of bacterial infections. Experimental results indicate that the design strategy of this phthalocyanine-based polymer can extend the application of the hydrophobic photosensitizer in the biomedical field.