Flexible organic light-emitting diodes for antimicrobial photodynamic therapy

Cheng Lian, Marta Piksa, Kou Yoshida, Saydulla Persheyev, Krzysztof Pawlik, Katarzyna Matczyszyn, Ifor David William Samuel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)
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Bacterial infection is a serious and growing problem as antibiotic resistance grows leading to patient suffering, death and increased costs of healthcare. To address this problem, we propose using flexible organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) as light sources for photodynamic therapy (PDT) to kill bacteria. PDT involves the use of light and a photosensitizer to generate reactive oxygen species that kill neighbouring cells. We have developed flexible top-emitting flexible OLEDs with the ability to tune the emission peak from 669-737 nm to match the photosensitizer, together with high irradiance, low driving voltage, long operational lifetime and adequate shelflife. These features enable OLEDs to be the ideal candidate for ambulatory PDT light sources. A detailed study of OLED-PDT for killing S. aureus was performed. The results show that our OLEDs in combination with the photosensitizer methylene blue can kill more than 99% of bacteria, which indicates a huge potential for using OLEDs to treat bacterial infections.
Original languageEnglish
Article number18
Journalnpj Flexible Electronics
Early online date18 Sept 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Sept 2019


  • Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs)
  • Antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT)
  • Flexible electronics
  • Methylene blue


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