Authors: Maeva Delcroix, Dr. Anil Reddy Marri, Stéphane Parant, Dr. Philippe C. Gros, Dr. Mathilde Bouché
Significant effort focused on developing photoactivatable theranostics for localized image guided therapy of cancer by thermal ablation. In this context iron complexes were recently identified as photoactivatable theranostic agents with adequate biocompatibility and body clearance. Herein, a series of FeII complexes bearing polypyridine or N-heterocyclic carbenes is reported that rely on rational complex engineering to red-shift their MLCT based excited-state deactivation via a straightforward approach. The non-radiative decay of their MLCT upon irradiation is exploited for theranostic purposes by combining both tracking in photoacoustic imaging (PA) and photothermal therapy (PTT). The influence of structural modifications introduced herein on the solubility and stability of the complexes in biorelevant aqueous media is discussed. The relationship between complexes’ design, production of contrast in photoacoustic and photothermal efficiency are explored to develop tailored PA/PTT theranostic agents.