Triggering the photochemistry of anticancer metal complexes using upconversion nanoparticles
Emmanuel Ruggiero a, Silvia Alonso de Castro a, Luca Salassa a, Juan C. Mareque-Rivas a b, Abraha Habtemariam a b c
a CIC biomaGUNE, Paseo Miramon 182, Donostia, 20009, Spain
b IKERBASQUE, Basque Foundation for Science, Bilbao, 48011, Spain
c Department of Chemistry, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL
Oral, Luca Salassa, presentation 002
Publication date: 10th April 2014

Transition metal complexes have unique photophysical and photochemical properties which have been explored for many applications including medicinal chemistry and biology. Several metal complexes displaying light-triggered biological activity have been recently reported and show potential as agents for photodynamic therapy.1 Nevertheless, metal complexes are typically characterized by low extinction coefficients in the 600–1000 nm region, posing a major limitation for their development as practical clinical tools.

Optically active nanoparticles can be employed as an effective tool to extend the range of excitation wavelengths for metal complexes and overcome such fundamental drawback.2

Our recent research focuses on the use of upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) for the photoactivation of anticancer complexes (e.g. Pt, Ru). UCNPs based of a NaYF4 lattice doped with lanthanides ions (e.g. Yb, Er, Tm) can efficiently convert 980-nm light to higher energies in the ultraviolet and visible region, hence allowing to trigger the photochemistry of metal complexes3 and potentially their biological effects. Such approach is promising not only because the NIR light used to excite UCNPs penetrates deeper into tissues, but also because UCNPs have outstanding features as multimodal imaging tools.

In this contribution we will discuss our advances in this new and promising field.

[1] Farrer, N. J.; Salassa, L.; Sadler, P. J. Dalton Trans., 2009, 10690.

[2] Garaikoetxea Arguinzoniz, A.; Ruggiero, E.; Habtemarian, A.; Hernández-Gil, J.; Salassa, L.; Mareque-Rivas, J. C. Part. Part. Syst. Charact., 2014, 1, 46.

[3] Ruggiero, E.; Habtemariam, A.; Yate, L.; Mareque-Rivas, J. C.; Salassa, L. Chem. Commun., 2014, 50,1715.

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