Light-Driven Selective Dissociation of Biomolecules
Gabriele, Victoria Rose. “Light-Driven Selective Dissociation of Biomolecules”, Boston College, 2022. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:109462.
It is well established that molecules can be driven to dissociation via ionizing radiation, and this has various uses in medicine. The drawback is that ionizing radiation has little spectral resolution when applied to the human body. Consequentially, ionizing radiation damages target biological cells and healthy biological cells indiscriminately. If a truly non-invasive and selective dissociation method is desired, it is necessary to consider non-ionizing radiation for additional specificity. The first part of this thesis proposes that a selective dissociation of biomolecules is possible with non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation on the basis of nonlinear driving of molecular resonances. The second part is devoted to a “Trojan horse”-type of strategy. Experimentally, we demonstrate that visible light at moderate power levels damages metastatic cancer cells when they are sensitized with biocompatible polymeric nanoparticles. Efficient photothermal conversion of nanoparticles triggers hyperthermia-induced lysis in cells in a target-selective manner.