Efficient photodynamic killing of gram-positive bacteria by synthetic curcuminoids

Sung Jen Hung, Yi An Hong, Kai Yu Lin, Yi Wen Hua, Chia Jou Kuo, Anren Hu*, Tzenge Lien Shih*, Hao Ping Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

6 Scopus citations


In our previous study, we have demonstrated that curcumin can efficiently kill the anaerobic bacterium Propionibacterium acnes by irradiation with low-dose blue light. The curcuminoids present in natural plant turmeric mainly include curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. However, only curcumin is commercially available. Eighteen different curcumin analogs, including demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin, were synthesized in this study. Their antibacterial activity against Gram-positive aerobic bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis was investigated using the photodynamic inactivation method. Among the three compounds in turmeric, curcumin activity is the weakest, and bisdemethoxycurcumin possesses the strongest activity. However, two synthetic compounds, (1E,6E)-1,7-bis(4-bromophenyl)hepta-1,6-diene-3,5-dione and (1E,6E)-1,7-bis(3-bromophenyl)hepta-1,6-diene-3,5-dione, possess the best antibacterial activity among all compounds examined in this study. Their chemical stability is also better than that of bisdemethoxycurcumin, and thus has potential for future clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9024
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number23
StatePublished - 01 12 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Bisdemethoxycurcumin
  • Curcumin
  • Curcuminoid
  • Demethoxycurcumin
  • Photodynamic inactivation
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Staphylococcus epidermis


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