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Polymerization-Enhanced Two-Photon Photosensitization for Precise Photodynamic Therapy.

ACS nano (2019-02-15)
Shaowei Wang, Wenbo Wu, Purnima Manghnani, Shidang Xu, Yuanbo Wang, Chi Ching Goh, Lai Guan Ng, Bin Liu
ABSTRACT

Two-photon excited photodynamic therapy (2PE-PDT) has attracted great attention in recent years due to its great potential for deep-tissue and highly spatiotemporally precise cancer therapy. Photosensitizers (PSs) with high singlet oxygen (1O2) generation efficiency and large two-photon absorption (2PA) cross-sections are highly desirable, but the availability of such PSs is limited by challenges in molecular design. In this work, we report that the polymerization of small-molecule PSs with aggregation-induced emission (AIE) could yield conjugated polymer PSs with good brightness, high 1O2 generation efficiency, and large 2PA cross-sections. A pair of conjugated polymer PSs were designed and synthesized, and the corresponding AIE PS dots were prepared by nanoprecipitation, which exhibited outstanding 2PE-PDT performance in in vitro cancer cell ablation and in vivo zebrafish liver tumor treatment. Our work highlights a strategy to design highly efficient PSs for 2PE-PDT.