Development of Ruthenium Complexes with O2-Independent Activity for Photochemotherapy

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William Moore Yujie Sun


By William Moore, Biochemistry

Advisor: Yujie Sun

Presentation ID: PM_D01

Abstract: Cancer affects millions of people's lives, and though there are many treatments available there is still much that can be done to improve cancer treatment. One of the most popular chemotherapy drugs, cisplatin, is very effective against certain types of cancer cells, but lacks the ability to target only cancer cells. This lack of specificity leads to many unpleasant side effects. Photochemotherapy provides a solution to the problem presented by current chemotherapy agents by activating the drug upon exposure to external stimuli (light). Current photochemotherapy methods rely heavily upon the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that subsequently cause oxidative damage to the tumor cell. There are three main issues with using ROS for treatment: first, tumors are often oxygen deficient; second, ROS have a very small diffusion distance of approx.100 nm; third, the activation wavelengths (<600 nm) for these complexes have very poor tissue penetration which make the usefulness of these complexes negligible for deep tissue tumors. To address the issues of ROS, focus was placed upon developing a complex that's activity is O2-independent, diffusion radius allows for less critical localization to target, and activates within the photodynamic therapy window (700-900nm). The designed complex to combat these issues is a ruthenium complex containing an electron-donating to shift activating toward near infrared for better tissue penetration, an ancillary ligand which can be tuned to control the diffusion radius, and a photolabile ligand which when activated will kill the cancer cell by binding to its DNA to stop transcription.

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PM Poster Session -- Great Hall -- D: New Frontiers