Highly efficient near-IR cyclohexene cyanine photosensitizers for antibacterial photodynamic therapy

Arjun Veliyil Prakash, Fares Yazabak, Iryna Hovor, Faina Nakonechny, Olesia Kulyk, Olga Semenova, Andrii Bazylevich, Gary Gellerman, Leonid Patsenker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In spite of significant progress in the development of novel photosensitizers for photodynamic therapy (PDT) applications, the search for new approaches for designing organic dyes exhibiting high cytotoxicity upon biologically relevant near-IR light irradiation is still ongoing. Organic dyes such as porphyrins are widely used as photosensitizers, while cyanine dyes exhibiting much better absorption in the near-IR region have been only moderately explored. Herein, we report on a new series of cyclohexene-based cyanine dyes containing two and three indolenine, benzothiazole, and benzoselenazole terminal end-groups. These dyes are investigated for photodynamic inactivation of pathogenic S. aureus and E. coli bacteria. Both di-substituted benzothiazole and benzoselenazole cyanines were found to efficiently eradicate S. aureus and E. coli at nanomolar and micromolar dye concentrations, respectively, and at a low near-IR light dose, while exhibiting tolerable dark toxicity. The commercially available di-indolenine based dye IR786 that is used in many assays and imaging applications exhibits pronounced dark toxicity and phototoxicity to the cells which can substantially affect biomedical experiments utilizing this dye.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111053
JournalDyes and Pigments
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Antimicrobial photodynamic therapy
  • Cyclohexene-based cyanines
  • Heavy atom effect
  • Photosensitizers


Dive into the research topics of 'Highly efficient near-IR cyclohexene cyanine photosensitizers for antibacterial photodynamic therapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this