Skip to content
Research Fellows Directory

Pingyu Zhang

Miss Pingyu Zhang

Research Fellow


University of Warwick

Research summary

My present research consists of three topics related to Ru(II)/Ir(III) complexes and gold nanoparticles for anti-cancer therapy, two-photon luminescent bioimaging,

biological sensors, PDT and PPT therapy.

1. Anti-cancer drugs: we have found that cyclometallated Ru(II)/Ir(III) complexes exhibited high cytotoxicity and induced cancer cells apoptosis. They have more excellent anti-cancer activity than cisplatin. In addition, Ru(II) complexes coated on the gold nanoparticles (Ru@AuNPs) have great photothermal therapy in cancer cells and in mice.

2. Two-photon luminescent imaging: Ru(II)/Ir(III) complexes with strong twophoton luminescence are used for imaging in 2D cancer cells and 3D multicellular tumor spheroids. In this field, we achieved the two-photon imaging has good advantage of the traditional one-photon imaging. Two-photon imaging has less phototoxicity, deeper penetration depth and lower self-fluorescence. Therefore, the development of two-photon luminescence probes, which would have more practical applications than one-photon probes, would be of great value.

3. Biological sensors: Functional Ru(II)/Ir(III) complexes and Ru@AuNPs detect metal ions, protein, amino acid and so on. We have got some complexes with high selectively and low detection limit to detect Cu2+, thiols and O2.

4. PDT/PPT therapy: Developed Ru@ Au nanoparticles or Ru@SWNT (single carbon nanotube) for photodynamics and photothermal therapy in vitro and in mice.

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Novel approaches to the design of multitargeted drugs to treat endemic cancers

Scheme: Newton International Fellowships

Dates: Oct 2015 - Oct 2017

Value: £99,000