Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Flexible organic light-emitting diodes for antimicrobial photodynamic therapy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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

School/Research organisations


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 Sep 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Sep 2019

    Research areas

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

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Narrowband organic light-emitting diodes for fluorescence microscopy and calcium imaging

    Murawski, C., Mischok, A., Booth, J. H., Kumar, J. D., Archer, E., Tropf, L. C., Keum, C., Deng, Y., Yoshida, K., Samuel, I. D. W., Schubert, M., Pulver, S. & Gather, M. C., 5 Sep 2019, In : Advanced Materials. Early View, 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. The role of metallic dopants in improving the thermal stability of the electron transport layer in organic light-emitting diodes

    Keum, C-M., Kronenberg, N. M., Murawski, C., Yoshida, K., Deng, Y., Berz, C., Li, W., Wei, M., Samuel, I. D. W. & Gather, M. C., 25 Jun 2018, In : Advanced Optical Materials. Early View, 1800496.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Optical antennas for wavelength division multiplexing in visible light communications beyond the étendue limit

    Manousiadis, P., Chun, H., Rajbhandari, S., Vithanage, D., Malyawan, R., Faulkner, G., Haas, H., O'Brien, D. C., Collins, S., Turnbull, G. A. & Samuel, I. D. W., 20 Dec 2019, In : Advanced Optical Materials. Early View, 1901139.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Mapping hole mobility in PTB7 films at nanoscale

    Alekseev, A. M., Yedrissov, A. T., Ilyassov, B. R., Hedley, G. J., Samuel, I. D. W. & Kharintsev, S. S., 16 Dec 2019, SPM–2019–RCWDFM Joint International Conference 25–28 August 2019, Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation, Proceedings. Institute of Physics Publishing, Vol. 699. 5 p. 012001. (IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering; vol. 699).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  5. Correlating phase behavior with photophysical properties in mixed-cation mixed-halide perovskite thin films

    Greenland, C., Shnier, A., Rajendran, S. K., Smith, J. A., Game, O. S., Wamwangi, D., Turnbull, G. A., Samuel, I. D. W., Billing, D. G. & Lidzey, D. G., 16 Dec 2019, In : Advanced Energy Materials. Early View, 1901350.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 259340248