Activatable photosensitizers (aPSs) are a new, switchable smart photosensitizer (PS) that can enhance photodynamic therapy (PDT) specificity and efficiency. aPSs are inert in healthy tissues, but can be switched on by neoplastic-associated endogenous stimuli such as pH, enzymes, and glutathione (GSH) and reduce damage to normal cells. This review summarizes aPS-based design strategies based on energy or electron transfer and self-quenching. We supplement the advanced design strategies with newly-developed molecular aPSs and focus on introducing nano-engineering supramolecular aPS construction.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Juyoung Yoon thanks the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), which is funded by the Korean government (MSIP) (No. 2012R1A3A2048814). Xingshu Li thanks the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 22078066). Mengyao Yang thanks the China Scholarship Council (CSC, No. 201904910820).
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