Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is widely used to treat diverse diseases, but its dependence on oxygen to produce cytotoxic reactive oxygen species (ROS) diminishes the therapeutic effect in a hypoxic environment, such as solid tumors. Herein, we developed a ROS‐producing hybrid nanoparticle‐based photosensitizer capable of maintaining high levels of ROS under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions. Conjugation of a ruthenium complex (N3) to a TiO2 nanoparticle afforded TiO2‐N3. Upon exposure of TiO2‐N3 to light, the N3 injected electrons into TiO2 to produce three‐ and four‐fold more hydroxyl radicals and hydrogen peroxide, respectively, than TiO2 at 160 mmHg. TiO2‐N3 maintained three‐fold higher hydroxyl radicals than TiO2 under hypoxic conditions via N3‐facilitated electron–hole reduction of adsorbed water molecules. The incorporation of N3 transformed TiO2 from a dual type I and II PDT agent to a predominantly type I photosensitizer, irrespective of the oxygen content.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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