Wavelength engineerable porous organic polymer photosensitizers with protonation triggered ROS generation

Jinwoo Shin, Dong Won Kang, Jong Hyeon Lim, Jong Min An, Youngseo Kim, Ji Hyeon Kim, Myung Sun Ji, Sungnam Park, Dokyoung Kim, Jin Yong Lee, Jong Seung Kim, Chang Seop Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Engineering excitation wavelength of photosensitizers (PSs) for enhanced reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation has inspired new windows for opportunities, enabling investigation of previously impracticable biomedical and photocatalytic applications. However, controlling the wavelength corresponding to operating conditions remains challenging while maintaining high ROS generation. To address this challenge, we implement a wavelength-engineerable imidazolium-based porous organic photocatalytic ROS generation system (KUP system) via a cost-effective one-pot reaction. Remarkably, the optimal wavelength for maximum performance can be tuned by modifying the linker, generating ROS despite the absence of metal ions and covalently attached heavy atoms. We demonstrate that protonated polymerization exclusively enables photosensitization and closely interacts with oxygen related to the efficiency of photosensitizing. Furthermore, superior tumor eradication and biocompatibility of the KUP system were confirmed through bioassays. Overall, the results document an unprecedented polymerization method capable of engineering wavelength, providing a potential basis for designing nanoscale photosensitizers in various ROS-utilizing applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1498
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (NRF-2021R1A2B5B03086313 and 2019R1A6A1A11044070 for C.S.H.; CRI project no. 2018R1A3B1052702 for J.S.K.; NRF-2019R1A6A1A10073079 for J.Y.L.; NRF-2018R1A6A1A03025124 and 2022R1F1A1069954 for D.K.). This research was supported by a grant from the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (HI21C0239). We appreciate Prof. Kwangyeol Lee for the TEM measurements and Dr. Hyung Jong Kim and Prof. Dong Hoon Choi for the CV measurements. We appreciate the support from the KISTI supercomputing center through the strategic support program for the supercomputing application research No. KSC-2021-CRE-0304 for J.Y.L. We appreciate BioRender.com. for image creation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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