Most existing photosensitizers (e.g., porphyrins) are often aggregated in aqueous solution because of their large conjugated molecular structures. This aggregation usually results in a lack or low levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation due to aggregation-caused quenching, which severely hampers the application of photosensitizers in photodynamic therapy (PDT). Herein, we make an interesting finding that a boronic acid-functionalized phthalocyanine (PcN4-BA) displays an uncommon phenomenon, an aggregation-enhanced photodynamic effect. The combination of the ability to form uniform nanostructured self-assemblies in water, highly efficient ROS generation and boronic acid-induced targeting give PcN4-BA excellent performances in antimicrobial PDT.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
J. Y. is thankful for nancial support from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), which is funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (No. 2012R1A3A2048814). D. K. is thankful for the Strategic Research (NRF-2016R1E1A1A01943379) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science.
© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2020.
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