Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Chemistry (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Michele McGibony


Bioinorganic photochemistry is a rapidly advancing research area in the field of bioinorganic chemistry. This project seeks to build upon the growing field by synthesizing and analyzing new photodynamic therapy (PDT) agents. There are three major generations of PDT agents. The first generation consists of chemically modified natural hematoporphyrins, which are not of great interest in the phototherapeutic field due to their low distinguishability between tumor cells and healthy cells, and extended skin photosensitivity in patients. The second generation consists of organic dyes, aromatic hydrocarbons, polypyrolics complexes, and semi-conductors, but is also not of much interest due to the same issues as the first generation. The third generation of PDT agents, the focus of this project, consists of tetrapyrroles and porphyrins. Porphyrins are essential because they can accept many different metals in their core, which result in changes of its properties for both therapeutic and photodynamic purposes. Porphyrins are also found in other biological molecules such as heme, chlorophyll, and vitamin B12. This project specifically focuses on metalloporphyrins encompassing manganese, and if these porphyrins display a high DNA cleavage rate they could be used in place of the first and second generation PDT agents. MnTDCLPP, MnTTFMPP, and MnTECP are the specific metalloporphyrins being analyzed in this project.