Most existing photosensitizers (e.g., porphyrins) are often aggregated in aqueous solution because of their large conjugated molecular structures. This aggregation usually results in a lack or low levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation due to aggregation-caused quenching, which severely hampers the application of photosensitizers in photodynamic therapy (PDT). Herein, we make an interesting finding that a boronic acid-functionalized phthalocyanine (PcN4-BA) displays an uncommon phenomenon, an aggregation-enhanced photodynamic effect. The combination of the ability to form uniform nanostructured self-assemblies in water, highly efficient ROS generation and boronic acid-induced targeting give PcN4-BA excellent performances in antimicrobial PDT.
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© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2020.
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