Stable π-radical nanoparticles as versatile photosensitizers for effective hypoxia-overcoming photodynamic therapy

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

32 Scopus Citations
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  • Guihong Lu
  • Shengzhi Dong
  • Shengliang Li
  • Yanhong Liu
  • Xiangmin Meng
  • Feng Li


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-576
Journal / PublicationMaterials Horizons
Issue number2
Online published5 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


We report the first demonstration using a stable π-radical as a versatile photosensitizer for hypoxia-overcoming photodynamic therapy. After self-assembling the radical molecules into radical nanoparticles (NPs), the NPs show good water dispersibility, good biocompatibility, broad near-infrared (NIR) absorption and emission at ∼800 nm. Significantly, the radical NPs remain stable in various biological mediums, after 100 days exposure to the ambient environment, and even after long-term laser irradiation, which is superior to many reported radical-based materials. More importantly, upon 635 nm laser irradiation, sufficient superoxide radical (O2˙) generation and in vitro cytotoxicity were observed addressing the most important hurdle for successful PDT in the oxygen-deficient tumor microenvironment. In addition, the radical NPs are also demonstrated to have effective in vivo PDT efficacy, and excellent biosafety.