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Space and Time Resolved Ultrafast Dynamics of Few Porphyrins Derivatives in Nanosystems

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Biology and technology bond for future benefits

Porphyrins are a group of organic compounds, many of which occur naturally. Their composition and ability to bind metals is of great interest for those working in the field of molecular electronics.

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The 'Space and time resolved ultrafast dynamics of few porphyrins derivatives in nanosystems' (Fenasy) project worked on enhancing knowledge about the interaction of select biological materials as candidates for use in nanoscience, nanotechnology and nanomedicine. The EU-funded Fenasy team performed fast (picosecond (ps)) and ultrafast (femtosecond (fs)) experiments with various porphyrin derivatives in solutions or confined by chemical and biological nanocavities and nanochannels. The first step was to examine photoreaction and relaxation dynamics, as well as to study the effects and results of nanoconfinement on both ps and fs time scales. Following that, ultrafast laser and single molecule technologies were employed to investigate the relationship between the photodynamics and the resulting nanostructure. In work on fast-to-ultrafast dynamics of palladium phthalocyanine bonded to MCM-41 mesoporous material, indications were that the excited state properties of palladium phthalocyanine could be tuned and modified on interaction with the mesoporous material. This shows promise for applications in areas such as nanophotonics, photodynamic therapy (PDT), and photovoltaic and solar cell design. Phthalocyanine is a macromolecule structurally related to porphyrins; related compounds have attracted interest in their suitability as donor materials for use in molecular electronics. In femtosecond studies of a porphyrin derivative confined by human serum albumin (HAS) protein, project partners witnessed great impact and suggest that metal phthalocyanine could have wide-ranging applications in enzymatic catalysis, photonics and PDT. Porphyrins usually enter the blood in heavily concentrated solutions, which may weaken their potential for action or even have negative consequences for an organism. Study results, however, show that interaction with the HSA protein may help to control efficacy and biodistribution. The Fenasy results are encouraging and form a basis for future efforts in safe drug formulation and administration. Certain project outcomes have already been published and others are being prepared for submission to international scientific journals.

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