Foundry staff and users have devised a new molecular design strategy for the development of near infrared absorbing polymers and showed they are effective as photothermal therapeutic (PTT) agents.
Significance and Impact
This is one of the first examples of using a conjugated polyelectrolyte (CPE) as an active agent in PTT where irradiation with 808 nm light resulted in a 95% reduction in bacterial colony count. The new polymers opens the door to new treatments for antibiotic resistant infections and cancer.
- The research team developed a way to synthesize a CPE from ionic azaquinodimethane (iAQM) building blocks so that it carries charges and has one of the lowest observed band gaps (1.22 eV) for this type of polymer.
- The charges on CPEs make them more soluble in polar solvents and thus more biologically relevant since it could be tailored to bind to specific proteins or cells.
- The charged substituents on each iAQM can be varied easily during synthesis, allowing for further functionalization or polymerization.