Antimicrobial photodynamic therapy with functionalized fullerenes: Quantitative structure-activity relationships

Kazue Mizuno, Timur Zhiyentayev, Liyi Huang, Sarwat Khalil, Faria Nasim, George P. Tegos, Hariprasad Gali, Ashlee Jahnke, Tim Wharton, Michael R. Hamblin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Photosensitive dyes or photo sensitizers (PS) in combination with visible light and oxygen produce reactive oxygen species that kill cells in the process known as photodynamic therapy (PDT). Antimicrobial PDT employs PS that is selective for microbial cells and is a new treatment for infections. Most antimicrobial PS is based on tetrapyrrole or phenothiazinium structures that have been synthesized to carry quaternary cationic charges or basic amino groups. However we recently showed that cationic-substituted fullerene derivative were highly effective in killing a broad spectrum of microbial cells after illumination with white light. In the present report we compared a new group of synthetic fullerene derivatives that possessed either basic or quaternary amino groups as antimicrobial PS against Grampositive (Staphylococcus aureus), Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli) and fungi (Candida albicans). Quantitative structure-function relationships were derived with LogP and hydrophilic lipophilic balance parameters. Compounds with non-quaternary amino groups tended to form nanoaggregates in water and were only effective against S. aureus. The most important determinant of effectiveness was an increased number of quaternary cationic groups that were widely dispersed around the fullerene cage to minimize aggregation. S. aureus was most susceptible; E. coli was intermediate, while C. albicans was the most resistant species tested. The high effectiveness of antimicrobial PDT with quaternized fullerenes suggest they may have applications in treatment of superficial infections (for instance in wounds and burns) where light penetration into tissue is not problematic.& copy 2011 Mizuno K, et al.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Nanomedicine and Nanotechnology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Antimicrobial photosensitizer
  • Cationic charge
  • Hydrophilic lipophilic balance
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Quantitative structure function relationship


Dive into the research topics of 'Antimicrobial photodynamic therapy with functionalized fullerenes: Quantitative structure-activity relationships'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this