Organic photosensitizers for antimicrobial phototherapy

Van Nghia Nguyen, Zheng Zhao, Ben Zhong Tang, Juyoung Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


Microbial infectious diseases, especially those caused by new and antibiotic-resistant pathogenic microbes, have become a significant threat to global human health. As an antibiotic-free therapy, phototherapy is a promising approach to treat microbial infections due to its spatiotemporal selectivity, non-invasiveness, minimal side effects, and broad antimicrobial spectrum. Although organic photosensitizer-based antimicrobial phototherapy has been extensively studied over the last decade, there has been no specific review article on this topic yet. It is important and timely to summarize recent research progress in this field. This tutorial review highlights the concept and significance of phototherapy and summarizes innovative types of organic photosensitizers with design strategies to deal with microbial infections. In addition, examples of organic antimicrobial photosensitizers, including antibacterial photosensitizers, antiviral photosensitizers, and antifungal photosensitizers are discussed. Finally, current challenges and future directions of organic photosensitizer-based phototherapy for clinical antimicrobial applications are presented. We believe that this tutorial review will provide general guidance for the future development of efficient photosensitizers and encourage preclinical and clinical studies for phototherapy-mediated antimicrobial treatments.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChemical Society Reviews
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

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© 2022 The Royal Society of Chemistry


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