Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Exploiting a Neutral BODIPY Copolymer as an Effective Agent for....pdf (2.59 MB)
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Exploiting a neutral BODIPY copolymer as an effective agent for photodynamic antimicrobial inactivation.

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-12-21, 11:27 authored by Aoibhín A Cullen, Ashwene Rajagopal, Katharina Heintz, Andreas HeiseAndreas Heise, Robert MurphyRobert Murphy, Igor V Sazanovich, Gregory M Greetham, Michael Towrie, Conor Long, Deirdre Fitzgerald HughesDeirdre Fitzgerald Hughes, Mary T Pryce
We report the synthesis and photophysical properties of a neutral BODIPY photosensitizing copolymer (poly-8-(4-hydroxymethylphenyl)-4,4-difluoro-2,6-diethynyl-4-bora- 3a,4a-diaza-s-indacene) containing ethynylbenzene links between the BODIPY units. The copolymer absorbs further towards the red in the UV-vis spectrum compared to the BODIPY precursor. Photolysis of the polymer produces a singlet excited state which crosses to the triplet surface in less than 300 ps. This triplet state was used to form singlet oxygen with a quantum yield of 0.34. The steps leading to population of the triplet state were studied using time-resolved spectroscopic techniques spanning the pico- to nanosecond timescales. The ability of the BODIPY polymer to generate a biocidal species for bactericidal activity in both solution- and coating-based studies was assessed. When the BODIPY copolymer was dropcast onto a surface, 4 log and 6 log reductions in colony forming units/ml representative of Gram-positive and Gramnegative bacteria, respectively, under illumination at 525 nm were observed. The potent broadspectrum antimicrobial activity of a neutral metal-free copolymer when exposed to visible light conditions may have potential clinical applications in infection management.


Towards novel anti-infectives with enhanced wound-healing for diabetic foot infections; CO-releasing star-shaped microbicidal polymers | Funder: Health Research Board / HRB | Grant ID: MRCG-2018-01

Exploiting Singlet Fission: An Innovative Design Strategy For Antimicrobial Materials | Funder: Science Foundation Ireland | Grant ID: Frontiers Programme 2019

Irish Research Council (AAC) (EPSPG/2016/158)

SFI (19/FFP/6882 award)

STFC Central Laser Facility for granting access to the ULTRA system under EU Access Grant (2019 no. 19230040)



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Cullen AA. et al. Exploiting a neutral BODIPY copolymer as an effective agent for photodynamic antimicrobial inactivation. J Phys Chem B. 2021;125(6):1550-1557.

Publication Date

4 February 2021

PubMed ID



  • Amber (Advanced Material & Bioengineering Research) Centre
  • Beaumont Hospital
  • Chemistry
  • Clinical Microbiology
  • CURAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices

Research Area

  • Immunity, Infection and Inflammation
  • Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine


American Chemical Society (ACS)


  • Published Version (Version of Record)