Quantification of singlet oxygen generation from photodynamic hydrogels

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Recently, we described a series of novel porphyrin-impregnated hydrogels capable of producing microbicidal singlet oxygen (1O2) on photoactivation. Indirect assessment of the efficacy of 1O2 production from such hydrogels has been previously described using microbiological techniques, but here we report a novel, direct method of quantification. Anthracene-9,10-dipropionic acid (ADPA) is known to irreversibly form an endoperoxide on reaction with 1O2, causing photobleaching of its absorbance band at approximately 378 nm. Here, the reaction of this probe is exploited in a novel way to provide a simple, inexpensive, and convenient measurement of 1O2 generation from the surface of porphyrin-incorporated photosensitising hydrogels, with the ability to account for effects due to hydrogel porosity. Ingress of the probe into the materials was observed, with rates of up to 3.83 x 103 s-1. This varied by up to 200-fold with material composition and surface modification. Rates of 1O2 generation in these porphyrin-incorporated hydrogels, after compensating for ADPA ingress, ranged from 1.86x103 – 5.86x103 s-1. This work demonstrates a simple and straightforward method for direct 1O2 quantification from porous materials, with general utility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalReactive and Functional Polymers
Early online date06 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


  • porphyrin
  • hydrogel
  • singlet oxygen
  • quantification


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