Protoporphyrine IX and its PEI derivatives as possible photosensitizer in antibacterial photodynamic therapy

Ewa Rząd ,  Urszula Kwolek ,  Mariusz Kępczyński ,  Maria Nowakowska 

Jagiellonian University, Faculty of Chemistry, Ingardena 3, Kraków 30-060, Poland


The progressive increase in bacterial resistance to antibiotics makes it conducted a search for new treatments for bacterial infections. One of the new method is antibacterial photodynamic therapy. The possibility of its application depends on the availability of appropriate photosensitizers (PS), which will allow for efficient cell destruction of pathogens. Photosensitizers currently used in cancer therapy are generally not suitable for the treatment of bacterial infections. There is a particularly their ineffectiveness against infections caused by Gram (-). The main reason for this is specific to the construction of these pathogens. In contrast to Gram (+), they have an outer membrane composed primarily of lipopolysaccharides. It functions as an impermeable barrier (negatively charged), protecting against the effects of bacterial cells with a photosensitiser. Therefore, for effective treatment, it becomes necessary to use the PS are able to overcome this barrier, or early treatment of bacterial substances that destroy the structure of their outer membrane, such as EDTA or cationic polypeptides. An example of effective photosensitizers against both Gram (-) and Gram (+) proved to be conjugate of polyethyleneimine chlorin or chlorin with poly-L-lysine.

The present work is focused on attaching protoporphyrin (Pp) to the polymer chain (PEI).[1]
Polyethyleneimine (PEI) is a positively charged polymer that has gained recent attention as a transfection agent. PEI can easily interact with negative charged molecular bilayer.
Physicochemical and photophysical properties of this systems were determined.
The interaction of the polymeric photosensitizers with lipid membranes were next studied. Using fluorescence properties of the analyzed compounds, the kinetics of penetration to liposomal system, the distribution constant between aqueous and lipid phase of liposomes and fluorescence quenching of the porphyrin units by copper sulfate were determined. The influence of addition of the PEI photosensitizers on stability of the liposomes was analyzed using turbidmetric titration with solution of Triton x-100. Using the measurement of dynamic light scattering, the size and zeta potencial of obtained systems were evaluated.

The study was conducted according to the TEAM Foundation for Polish
Science, co-funded by European Regional Development Fund: PolyMed,

[1] Liyi Huang, Timur Zhiyentayev, Yi Xuan, Dulat Azhibek,
Gitika B. Kharkwal, Michael R. Hamblin, Laser in Surgery and Medicine 43; 313-323 (2011)

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Presentation: Poster at Nano-Biotechnologia PL, by Ewa Rząd
See On-line Journal of Nano-Biotechnologia PL

Submitted: 2012-06-30 21:56
Revised:   2012-06-30 21:57
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