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Photoresponsive molecular tools for emerging applications of light in medicine

Abstract

Light-based therapeutic and imaging modalities, which emerge in clinical applications, rely on molecular tools, such as photocleavable protecting groups and photoswitches, that respond to photonic stimulus and translate it into a biological effect. However, optimisation of their key parameters (activation wavelength, band separation, fatigue resistance and half-life) is necessary to enable application in the medical field. In this perspective, we describe the applications scenarios that can be envisioned in clinical practice and then we use those scenarios to explain the necessary properties that the photoresponsive tools used to control biological function should possess, highlighted by examples from medical imaging, drug delivery and photopharmacology. We then present how the (photo)chemical parameters are currently being optimized and an outlook is given on pharmacological aspects (toxicity, solubility, and stability) of light-responsive molecules. With these interdisciplinary insights, we hope to outline future directions for the development of photocontrolled tools that will empower clinical applications of light.

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Article information


Submitted
31 Jul 2020
Accepted
14 Oct 2020
First published
15 Oct 2020

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2020, Accepted Manuscript
Article type
Perspective

Photoresponsive molecular tools for emerging applications of light in medicine

I. M. Welleman, M. W. H. Hoorens, B. L. Feringa, H. H. Boersma and W. Szymanski, Chem. Sci., 2020, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/D0SC04187D

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material.

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    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
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    [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
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    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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