Cationic porphycenes as potential photosensitizers for antimicrobial photodynamic therapy

Xavier Ragàs, David Sánchez-García, Rubén Ruiz-González, Tianhong Dai, Montserrat Agut, Michael R. Hamblin, Santi Nonell

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

107 Citations (Scopus)


Structures of typical photosensitizers used in antimicrobial photodynamic therapy are based on porphyrins, phthalocyanines, and phenothiazinium salts, with cationic charges at physiological pH values. However, derivatives of the porphycene macrocycle (a structural isomer of porphyrin) have barely been investigated as antimicrobial agents. Therefore, we report the synthesis of the first tricationic water-soluble porphycene and its basic photochemical properties. We successfully tested it for in vitro photoinactivation of different Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, as well as a fungal species (Candida) in a drug-dose and light-dose dependent manner. We also used the cationic porphycene in vivo to treat an infection model comprising mouse third degree burns infected with a bioluminescent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strain. There was a 2.6-log10 reduction (p < 0.001) of the bacterial bioluminescence for the PDT-treated group after irradiation with 180 J•cm-2 of red light.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7796-7803
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2010


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