Professor Prashanth Poddutoori

UMD Swenson Col of Sci & Eng
UM Duluth
Project Title: 
Porphyrin Chemistry

This group has interests in three areas of porphyrin chemistry: 

  • Artificial Photosynthesis. Solar energy research is driven by the need for viable and sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels. One research strategy is to mimic natural photosynthesis by using sunlight for the direct production of molecular compounds that could be used as energy carriers. This process can be envisioned as a light-driven electrochemical cell in which the anodic reaction extracts electrons from water, releasing protons and oxygen, while the cathodic reaction reduces protons, carbon dioxide, or some other species to generate fuel energy carriers. Solar energy production by artificial systems must use abundant and inexpensive raw materials such as water to make it cost-effective and environmentally benign. In this regard, this group's research is aimed to do a combined experimental and computational study focused on the design and construction of efficient artificial photosynthetic systems based on porphyrin assemblies.
  • Light-induced Molecular MachinesThe miniaturization race is encouraging chemists to design and construct machines on the nanometer scale. Such molecules are finding applications in molecular electronics such as memory storage devices, and in the medical industry as drug delivery vehicles. However, these molecular machines are extremely complex, and any attempt to construct systems of such complexity would be challenging. Synthetic fuel-powered artificial motors described so far are not autonomous because, after the mechanical movement induced by a chemical input, they need another opposite chemical input to reset, which results in the generation of waste products. In this respect, this project focuses on the design and synthesis of light-operating molecular machines. These machines can be turned ON and OFF by visible light. These researchers are using porphyrin molecules as a photosensitizer in combination with suitable molecular redox components.
  • Photodynamic TherapyPhotodynamic therapy (PDT) is a promising new cancer treatment. PDT is based on the use of a dye known as a photosensitizer (PS), which is administered intravenously or orally to a tumor-bearing patient. After the incubation period, the cancer tissue is illuminated with a long wavelength of red visible light. At this stage, the generation of cytotoxic species, such as reactive singlet oxygen leads to the irreversible destruction of the treated tumor tissues. In addition to PDT, combination therapy for cancer treatment has attracted much attention. This group's focus has been on the design and synthesis of an ideal porphyrin photosensitizer and linking it with an anticancer drug and/or an antibody to improve the efficiency and selectivity of the treatment.


Project Investigators

Noah Holzer
Professor Prashanth Poddutoori
Are you a member of this group? Log in to see more information.