Strained ruthenium complexes are potent light-activated anticancer agents

Brock S. Howerton, David K. Heidary, Edith C. Glazer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

399 Scopus citations


Strained ruthenium (Ru) complexes have been synthesized and characterized as novel agents for photodynamic therapy (PDT). The complexes are inert until triggered by visible light, which induces ligand loss and covalent modification of DNA. An increase in cytotoxicity of 2 orders of magnitude is observed with light activation in cancer cells, and the compounds display potencies superior to cisplatin against 3D tumor spheroids. The use of intramolecular strain may be applied as a general paradigm to develop light-activated ruthenium complexes for PDT applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8324-8327
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 23 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry (all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Strained ruthenium complexes are potent light-activated anticancer agents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this