Metal-containing molecules combine geometrical features and a reactivity that are inherently different from that of organic molecules. My research focuses on light-activatable metal-based anticancer drugs and metal-functionalized liposomes. Light is a very selective way to activate photosensitive drugs in vivo. In cancer research killing diseased cells selectively without killing the healthy cells nearby is a difficult challenge. Using light to control when and where a molecule will interact with biomolecules and kill the cell, holds promise in reducing side effects of chemotherapy. Meanwhile, functionalizing lipid nanovesicles with such metal complexes allows for targeting the metal compounds to tumors. Metal-functionalized liposomes are also developed that can sense small analytes, or store solar energy into chemical bonds.
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