Carotenohematoporphyrins as Tumor-Imaging Dyes. Synthesis and in Vitro Photophysical Characterization

Dereck Tatman, Paul A. Liddell, Thomas Moore, Devens Gust, Ana Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Multichromophoric dyes for use in tumor imaging have been synthesized and photophysically characterized. Structurally, these dyes are dyads and triads that consist of one or two carotenoid polyenes covalently attached to hematoporphyrin (HP) or hematoporphyrin dimethyl ester (HPDME) moieties via ester linkages. The ground-state absorption of each compound shows that the electronic interaction between the chromophores is small. The fluorescence quantum yield for the dyad monocaroteno-HPDME is 0.033 and the dicaroteno-HPDME triads have yields between 0.016 and 0.007, all of which are reduced with respect to the parent compound HPDME (0.09). Global analysis of the transient fluorescence decays of the dyads and triads requires two exponential components (∼5-6 ns and ∼1-2 ns) to fit the data, while a single exponential component with a lifetime of 9.3 ns describes the decay data of the parent HPDME. Possible mechanisms for the observed porphyrin fluorescence quenching by the nearby carotenoid are discussed. Nanosecond transient absorption reveals a carotene triplet with maximum absorption at 560 nm and a 5.0 μs lifetime. No transient was detected at 450 nm, indicating rapid (≤10 ns) triplet energy transfer from the hematoporphyrin to the carotenoid moieties in fluid as well as in rigid media. The yield of triplet energy transfer from the porphyrin to the carotenoid moiety is unity. Singlet oxygen, O2(1Δg), studies support the transient absorption data, as none of these compounds is capable of sensitizing O2(1Δg). Liposome vesicles were used to study the photophysical characteristics of the dyes in phospholipid membranes. Singlet oxygen was not sensitized by the dyads and triads in liposomes. Transient absorption measurements suggest that the triads are substantially aggregated within the phospholipid bilayer, whereas aggregation in the dyads is less severe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-466
Number of pages8
JournalPhotochemistry and photobiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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