Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Kathryn B. Grant


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a cancer treatment method in which a photosensitizer, light of a particular wavelength, and also oxygen are used to destroy cancerous cells. Cancer cells absorb the photosensitizing agent which is injected into the body, and it is triggered to cause cell destruction upon absorption of light. This occurs because of the excitation of the photosensitizer produces reactive oxygen species that induce a cascade of cellular and molecular events in the body. Photosensitizing agents that can photo-cleave DNA at long wavelengths are highly demanded in PDT, because the long wavelengths of light can penetrate through tissue deeply compared to visible light. While most of the photosensitizers are activated at wavelengths less than 690 nm, penetration of light continues to increase at increasing wavelengths. In this thesis, photosensitizers that can be activated to oxidize DNA with long wavelengths of light will be discussed. Using quinoline cyanine dyes, here we report the first example of DNA photocleavage at a wavelength of light above 800 nm.