Killing hypoxic cancer cells with light? Transition metal complexes at stake!



The research group of Prof. B. Elias has developed new Ir(III)-based molecules able to oxidize biomolecules by photo-induced electron transfer processes under oxygen-free conditions.

These drugs accumulate in the mitochondria of cancer cells and, upon light irradiation, kill most of them. In close collaboration with the groups of Prof. O. Feron (IREC) and Prof. A. Decottignies (DDUV), assays have been successfully performed on cancer cell lines and 3D tumor spheroids to test the impact of oxygen consumption rate on drug activity. As cell killing works under the hypoxic conditions of tumours, this research work offers new promising perspectives for cancer treatment using light therapy. These results have been published in the Journal of American Chemical Society.


« Exploring the Phototoxicity of Hypoxic Active Iridium(III)-Based Sensitizers in 3D Tumor Spheroids »

R. Bevernaegie, B. Doix, E. Bastien, A. Diman, A. Decottignies, O. Feron*, and B. Elias*, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 18486−18491(doi:10.1021/jacs.9b07723)



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Published on May 28, 2020