Unsymmetrical cationic porphyrin-cyclodextrin bioconjugates for photoinactivation of Escherichia coli

Cláudia P.S. Ribeiro, Sara R.D. Gamelas, Maria A.F. Faustino, Ana T.P.C. Gomes*, João P.C. Tomé, Adelaide Almeida, Leandro M.O. Lourenço

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Photodynamic inactivation (PDI) of microorganisms has been used for the treatment of bacterial infection. PDI is based on the combination of three non-toxic elements: a photosensitizer (PS), light and molecular oxygen, which lead to the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that cause lethal oxidative damage into the target pathogenic bacteria. For that, clinical approved tetrapyrrolic macrocycles, with particular emphasis on photoactive porphyrin (Por) dyes, have been used as PS in PDI for different biomedical applications. Two novel unsymmetrical free-base thiopyridyl Pors conjugated with α- or γ-CD units (Pors 2 and 3) were prepared and the corresponding cationic ones (Pors 2a and 3a) were assessed as water-soluble photosensitizer (PS) agents by photophysical, photochemical and E. coli photobiological studies. The presence of the CD unit and the positive charges on the Por periphery (2a and 3a) enhance their solubility in aqueous media. The photoactivity of the two cationic Pors 2a and 3a ensures their potential as PDI drugs against Gram-negative bacteria model, a bioluminescent E. coli, which the best PDI efficiency was determined for Por 3a that achieved the highest bacterial reduction of 4.0 log10 (ANOVA, p < 0.0001), reaching the detection limit of the method after 15 min.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101788
JournalPhotodiagnosis and Photodynamic Therapy
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Antimicrobial photoinactivation (PDI)
  • Cationic porphyrins
  • Escherichia coli
  • Gram-negative bacteria
  • Porphyrin-cyclodextrin bioconjugates


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