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PhotoMedMet SIGNED

Towards Novel Inert (Photo-)toxic Ru(II) Polypyridyl Complexes

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "PhotoMedMet" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


There are not information about this coordinator. Please contact Fabio for more information, thanks.

 Coordinator Country France [FR]
 Project website
 Total cost 662˙015 €
 EC max contribution 662˙015 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-10-01   to  2021-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

In this grant application, I propose to investigate in-depth the potential of novel inert Ru(II) polypyridyl complexes as novel anticancer drug candidates. Such compounds were investigated by Dwyer and Shulman in 1950s and 1960s both in vitro and in vivo with relatively promising results. This impressive seminal work was unfortunately not followed-up. This lack of additional studies was recently attributed, at least in part, to the observed neurotoxicity of the complexes. Nonetheless, over the last years, there has been a revival of important in vitro studies of such inert Ru(II) polypyridyl complexes for anticancer purposes. However, without further in vivo studies, it is reasonable to think that similar neurotoxicity to that observed by Dwyer and Shulman could be encountered. In order to tackle these (potential) drawbacks, I propose to use a prodrug approach. Furthermore, I also intend to investigate the potential of inert Ru(II) polypyridyl complexes as photosensitizers (PSs) in photodynamic therapy (PDT). In the search for an alternative approach to chemotherapy, PDT has proven to be a promising, effective and non-invasive treatment modality. Importantly, in order to increase even further the potential of the PSs presented in this project, I propose to also excite them via simultaneous two-photon absorption (TPA) in the so-called two-photon excitation PDT (2 PE-PDT). Importantly, the newly Ru(II)-based PSs will be coupled to cancer cell-specific peptides or antibodies. This double selectivity (targeting vector and photo-activation) should limit the frequently encountered side-effects of (metal-based) anticancer drugs. Another important aim of this second part of this project will be the use of the Ru(II)-based PSs to kill bacteria. Interestingly, PDT has been recently shown to be an interesting alternative to fight bacteria. I therefore intend to couple Ru(II)-based (2PE )PSs to bacteria-specific peptides to bring bacteria specificity.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2020 Johannes Karges, Gilles Gasser
Synthesis, Characterisation and Biological Evaluation of π-Extended Fe(II) Bipyridine Complexes as Potential Photosensitizers for Photodynamic Therapy
published pages: 119196, ISSN: 0020-1693, DOI: 10.1016/j.ica.2019.119196
Inorganica Chimica Acta 499 2019-11-22
2019 Elise Villemin, Yih Ching Ong, Christophe M. Thomas, Gilles Gasser
Polymer encapsulation of ruthenium complexes for biological and medicinal applications
published pages: 261-282, ISSN: 2397-3358, DOI: 10.1038/s41570-019-0088-0
Nature Reviews Chemistry 3/4 2019-11-22
2019 Marta Jakubaszek, Jeremie Rossier, Johannes Karges, Joachim Delasoie, Bruno Goud, Gilles Gasser, Fabio Zobi
Evaluation of the Potential of Cobalamin Derivatives Bearing Ru(II) Polypyridyl Complexes as Photosensitizers for Photodynamic Therapy
published pages: , ISSN: 0018-019X, DOI: 10.1002/hlca.201900104
Helvetica Chimica Acta 102/7 2019-11-22
2019 Johannes Karges, Olivier Blacque, Hui Chao, Gilles Gasser
Polymeric Bis(dipyrrinato) Zinc(II) Nanoparticles as Selective Imaging Probes for Lysosomes of Cancer Cells
published pages: 12422-12432, ISSN: 0020-1669, DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.9b02019
Inorganic Chemistry 58/18 2019-11-22
2019 Johannes Karges, Uttara Basu, Olivier Blacque, Hui Chao, Gilles Gasser
Polymeric Encapsulation of Novel Homoleptic Bis(dipyrrinato) Zinc(II) Complexes with Long Lifetimes for Applications as Photodynamic Therapy Photosensitisers
published pages: 14334-14340, ISSN: 1433-7851, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201907856
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 58/40 2019-11-22
2019 Huaiyi Huang, Samya Banerjee, Kangqiang Qiu, Pingyu Zhang, Olivier Blacque, Thomas Malcomson, Martin J. Paterson, Guy J. Clarkson, Michael Staniforth, Vasilios G. Stavros, Gilles Gasser, Hui Chao, Peter J. Sadler
Targeted photoredox catalysis in cancer cells
published pages: 1041-1048, ISSN: 1755-4330, DOI: 10.1038/s41557-019-0328-4
Nature Chemistry 11/11 2019-11-22
2019 Johannes Karges, Franz Heinemann, Federica Maschietto, Malay Patra, Olivier Blacque, Ilaria Ciofini, Bernhard Spingler, Gilles Gasser
A Ru(II) polypyridyl complex bearing aldehyde functions as a versatile synthetic precursor for long-wavelength absorbing photodynamic therapy photosensitizers
published pages: 2666-2675, ISSN: 0968-0896, DOI: 10.1016/j.bmc.2019.05.011
Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry 27/12 2019-11-22
2019 Johannes Karges, Marta Jakubaszek, Cristina Mari, Kristof Zarschler, Bruno Goud, Holger Stephan, Gilles Gasser
Synthesis and Characterization of an Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor‐Selective Ru II Polypyridyl–Nanobody Conjugate as a Photosensitizer for Photodynamic Therapy
published pages: , ISSN: 1439-4227, DOI: 10.1002/cbic.201900419
ChemBioChem 2019-11-22
2019 Johannes Karges, Olivier Blacque, Philippe Goldner, Hui Chao, Gilles Gasser
Towards Long Wavelength Absorbing Photodynamic Therapy Photosensitizers via the Extension of a [Ru(bipy) 3 ] 2+ Core
published pages: 3704-3712, ISSN: 1434-1948, DOI: 10.1002/ejic.201900569
European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry 2019/32 2019-11-22
2019 Anna K. Renfrew, Johannes Karges, Rosario Scopelliti, Felix D. Bobbink, Patrycja Nowak‐Sliwinska, Gilles Gasser, Paul J. Dyson
Towards Light‐Activated Ruthenium–Arene (RAPTA‐Type) Prodrug Candidates
published pages: 2876-2882, ISSN: 1439-4227, DOI: 10.1002/cbic.201900236
ChemBioChem 20/22 2019-11-22
2019 Johannes Karges, Olivier Blacque, Marta Jakubaszek, Bruno Goud, Philippe Goldner, Gilles Gasser
Systematic investigation of the antiproliferative activity of a series of ruthenium terpyridine complexes
published pages: 110752, ISSN: 0162-0134, DOI: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2019.110752
Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry 198 2019-11-22
2018 Marta Jakubaszek, Bruno Goud, Stefano Ferrari, Gilles Gasser
Mechanisms of action of Ru( ii ) polypyridyl complexes in living cells upon light irradiation
published pages: 13040-13059, ISSN: 1359-7345, DOI: 10.1039/C8CC05928D
Chemical Communications 54/93 2019-06-07
2019 Uttara Basu, Sven Otto, Katja Heinze, Gilles Gasser
Biological Evaluation of the NIR-Emissive Ruby Analogue [Cr(ddpd) 2 ][BF 4 ] 3 as a Photodynamic Therapy Photosensitizer
published pages: 37-41, ISSN: 1434-1948, DOI: 10.1002/ejic.201801023
European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry 2019/1 2019-06-07
2019 Afonso P. Basto, Nicoleta Anghel, Riccardo Rubbiani, Joachim Müller, David Stibal, Federico Giannini, Georg Süss-Fink, Vreni Balmer, Gilles Gasser, Julien Furrer, Andrew Hemphill
Targeting of the mitochondrion by dinuclear thiolato-bridged arene ruthenium complexes in cancer cells and in the apicomplexan parasite Neospora caninum
published pages: 462-474, ISSN: 1756-5901, DOI: 10.1039/c8mt00307f
Metallomics 11/2 2019-06-07
2019 Younes Ellahioui, Malay Patra, Cristina Mari, Rim Kaabi, Johannes Karges, Gilles Gasser, Santiago Gómez-Ruiz
Mesoporous silica nanoparticles functionalised with a photoactive ruthenium( ii ) complex: exploring the formulation of a metal-based photodynamic therapy photosensitiser
published pages: 5940-5951, ISSN: 1477-9226, DOI: 10.1039/c8dt02392a
Dalton Transactions 48/18 2019-06-07
2018 Sul Hwa Yu, Malay Patra, Stefano Ferrari, Paulina Ramirez Garcia, Nicholas A. Veldhuis, Lisa M. Kaminskas, Bim Graham, John F. Quinn, Michael R. Whittaker, Gilles Gasser, Thomas P. Davis
Linker chemistry dictates the delivery of a phototoxic organometallic rhenium( i ) complex to human cervical cancer cells from core crosslinked star polymer nanoparticles
published pages: 7805-7810, ISSN: 2050-7518, DOI: 10.1039/C8TB02464B
Journal of Materials Chemistry B 6/47 2019-06-07
2019 Johannes Karges, Philippe Goldner, Gilles Gasser
Synthesis, Characterization, and Biological Evaluation of Red-Absorbing Fe(II) Polypyridine Complexes
published pages: 4, ISSN: 2304-6740, DOI: 10.3390/inorganics7010004
Inorganics 7/1 2019-06-07
2018 Karun Mutreja, Jana Krietsch, Jeannine Hess, Sebastian Ursich, Matteo Berti, Fabienne K. Roessler, Ralph Zellweger, Malay Patra, Gilles Gasser, Massimo Lopes
ATR-Mediated Global Fork Slowing and Reversal Assist Fork Traverse and Prevent Chromosomal Breakage at DNA Interstrand Cross-Links
published pages: 2629-2642.e5, ISSN: 2211-1247, DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.08.019
Cell Reports 24/10 2019-06-07
2018 Faustine d\'Orchymont, Jeannine Hess, Gordana Panic, Marta Jakubaszek, Lea Gemperle, Jennifer Keiser, Gilles Gasser
Synthesis, characterization and biological activity of organometallic derivatives of the antimalarial drug mefloquine as new antischistosomal drug candidates
published pages: 1905-1909, ISSN: 2040-2503, DOI: 10.1039/c8md00396c
MedChemComm 9/11 2019-06-07
2018 Marie Flamme, Emma Clarke, Gilles Gasser, Marcel Hollenstein
Applications of Ruthenium Complexes Covalently Linked to Nucleic Acid Derivatives
published pages: 1515, ISSN: 1420-3049, DOI: 10.3390/molecules23071515
Molecules 23/7 2019-06-07

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