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Exploiting a Neutral BODIPY Copolymer as an Effective Agent for Photodynamic Antimicrobial Inactivation

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journal contribution
posted on 04.02.2021, 13:34 by Aoibhín A. Cullen, Ashwene Rajagopal, Katharina Heintz, Andreas Heise, Robert Murphy, Igor V. Sazanovich, Gregory M. Greetham, Michael Towrie, Conor Long, Deirdre Fitzgerald-Hughes, Mary T. Pryce
We report the synthesis and photophysical properties of a neutral BODIPY photosensitizing copolymer (poly-8-(4-hydroxymethylphenyl)-4,4-difluoro-2,6-diethynyl-4-bora-3a,4a-diaza-s-indacene) containing ethynylbenzene links between the BODIPY units. The copolymer absorbs further towards the red in the UV-vis spectrum compared to the BODIPY precursor. Photolysis of the polymer produces a singlet excited state which crosses to the triplet surface in less than 300 ps. This triplet state was used to form singlet oxygen with a quantum yield of 0.34. The steps leading to population of the triplet state were studied using time-resolved spectroscopic techniques spanning the pico- to nanosecond timescales. The ability of the BODIPY polymer to generate a biocidal species for bactericidal activity in both solution- and coating-based studies was assessed. When the BODIPY copolymer was dropcast onto a surface, 4 log and 6 log reductions in colony forming units/ml representative of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, respectively, under illumination at 525 nm were observed. The potent broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity of a neutral metal-free copolymer when exposed to visible light conditions may have potential clinical applications in infection management.