Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Edith Glazer

Second Advisor

Dr. David Atwood


Ruthenium complexes show promise as light activated photodynamic therapy (PDT) prodrugs. Strained octahedral complexes were synthesized that produce a cytotoxic species upon light activation. pUC19 DNA damage in vitro experiments were carried out to determine the type of damage observed. In vivo cell experiments were carried out on the non-small lung cancer A549 cell line to determine the phototherapeutic window of the synthesized complexes. One mechanism of drug resistance via elevated levels of glutathione was addressed through in vitro binding studies carried out with UV-Vis spectroscopy and in vivo glutathione titrations in the A549 cell line. Several complexes were shown to be potential PDT agents with light-activated activities greater than cisplatin and 10-100 fold lower dark toxicities.