Antibacterial application of covalently immobilized photosensitizers on a surface

Han Shin Kim, Eun Ji Cha, Hyun Jin Kang, Jeong Hoon Park, Jaesang Lee, Hee Deung Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Singlet oxygen produced by irradiating photosensitizers (PSs) can be used to kill pathogens during water treatment. Chemical immobilization of the PSs on surfaces can maintain their disinfection function long-term. In this study, two model PSs (rose bengal (RB) and hematoporphyrin (HP)) were immobilized on a glass surface using a silane coupling agent with an epoxide group, and their antibacterial properties were analyzed. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy demonstrated that a covalent bond formed between the epoxide group and hydroxyl group in the PSs. A large proportion of the immobilized PSs (approximately 50%) was active in singlet oxygen production, which was evidenced by a comparative analysis with free PSs. RB was more effective at producing singlet oxygen than HP. The immobilized PSs were durable in terms of repeated use. On the other hand, singlet oxygen produced by the PSs was effective at killing bacteria, mostly for Gram-positive bacteria (> 90% death for 2 h of irradiation), by damaging the cell membrane. The preferable antibacterial property against Gram-positive bacteria compared with that against Gram-negative bacteria suggested efficient penetrability of singlet oxygen across the cell membrane, which led to cell death. Taken together, it was concluded that immobilization of PSs on surfaces using the silane coupling agent proposed in this study was effective at killing Gram-positive bacteria by forming singlet oxygen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-42
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Research
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May


  • Antibacterial
  • Hematoporphyrin
  • Rose bengal
  • Silane coupling agent
  • Singlet oxygen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)


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