A Water-Soluble Galactose-Decorated Cationic Photodynamic Therapy Agent Based on BODIPY to Selectively Eliminate Biofilm

A multitude of serious chronic infections are involved in bacterial biofilms that are difficult to eradicate. Here, a water-soluble galactose-functionalized cationic 4,4-difluoro-4-bora-3a,4a-diaza-s-indacene (BODIPY)-based photodynamic therapy agent was synthesized for selectively eliminating the bacterial biofilm. These conjugates can capture bacteria to form aggregations through electrostatic interaction and then generate a large number of reactive oxygen species (ROS) under visible light irradiation to kill the bacteria without the emergence of bacterial resistance. Simultaneously, this agent could effectively inhibit and eradicate both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial biofilms. The in-depth analysis of the antimicrobial mechanism confirmed that the conjugates can quickly bind on the bacterial surface, irreversibly disrupt the bacterial membrane, and distinctly inhibit intracellular enzyme activity, ultimately leading to the bacterial death. Importantly, these conjugates are highly selective toward bacterial cells over mammalian cells as well as no cytotoxicity to A549 cells and no discernible hemolytic activity. Collectively, this water-soluble galactose-decorated cationic BODIPY-based photodynamic therapy agent design provides promising insights for the development of therapy for antibiotic-resistant bacteria.