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Title: Two-photon dyes for biological application
Author: Bennett, Philip Mark
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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Two photon absorption (TPA) is the near simultaneous absorption of two photons of light to achieve an electronically excited state. It has led to huge advances in microscopy and microfabrication due to its quadratic dependence on the local light intensity. This thesis describes the design, synthesis and application of dyes with strong TPA properties, and as such is divided into three chapters. The first introduces the theory and measurement of TPA as well as structure-property relationships known to maximise the efficiency of TPA. The subsequent chapters present explorations of the application of these dyes in biological applications; namely two-photon uncaging and two-photon photodynamic therapy. A recurring theme in my research is the discussion and evaluation of strategies for improving the compatibility of organic macromolecules with biological systems. Uncaging is the use of photolysis to achieve a rapid increase in the local concentration of a physiologically active species via a photoremovable protecting groups. Photoremovable protecting groups are covalently attached to the physiologically active species, thus rendering it inactive. At the desired time and location, a light dose releases the molecule in its active form. There are many compounds known to uncage following photoexcitation, but there are few examples of caging groups which exhibit both strong two-photon absorption properties and highly efficient uncaging. Chapter 2 discusses the rational design of such groups through the development of a new mechanism for uncaging, in which a photoinduced electron transfer (PeT) between a two-photon-excited electron donor and an electron acceptor/release group drives the uncaging event. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment for neoplastic disorders such as cancer in which localised cell death is induced through photoexcitation of a sensitiser. Following light absorption, the photosensitiser enters a relatively long-lived excited state which reacts with cellular oxygen to produce its highly cytotoxic singlet form. The main challenges of the field are to achieve deep penetration of light into tissue and to reduce coincident damage to unaffected tissue by light scattering during irradiation. In 2008, the Anderson group reported the development of PDT photosensitisers with highly efficient two-photon absorption as well as high singlet oxygen quantum yields. Chapter 3 discusses strategies for improving the pharmacokinetics and defining the sub-cellular localisation of these photosensitisers.
Supervisor: Anderson, Harry Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Organic chemistry ; Photochemistry and reaction dynamics ; Synthetic organic chemistry ; Organic synthesis ; Non-linear optics ; Photochemistry ; Photodynamic therapy ; Peptide synthesis