Joint Centers of Excellence Program

Multifunctional Nanoparticles for Diagnosis and Treatment (Domain 3, Project 5)

The use of light to cure cancer, which has notably led to the clinical development of photodynamic therapy (PDT), has also been proposed as a possible development in metal-based anticancer drug research, in which the presence of oxygen is not required. While the use of visible light to activate the cytotoxicity of compounds, such as octahedral metal complexes, can be potentially worthwhile for external surface cancer treatments, an ideal PDT agent should be operative in the therapeutic window (650‒850 nm), where light has the deepest penetration into human tissue, while at the same time, the tissue does not absorb. With the view of developing this area further, the research objective of this work is the development of the red light-activated release of cytotoxic molecules from mechanized mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNPs). The activity within this project has been focused on the assembly of light activated molecules, such as ruthenium(II) complexes and azobenzene moieties, on the MSNPs surface and the characterization of their cytotoxicity upon irradiation with light.