Background: In addition to the considerable number of different chlorophyll
structures originated naturally, prominent research is made to produce new specific semisynthetic
structures. The final target is to obtain chlorophyll derivatives with even better
bioactive properties than those of the natural parent compounds.
Method: A detailed, extensive and critic literature search has been made in Web of
Results: Great efforts are applying to optimize the function of chlorophyll-based photosensitizers,
to understand the molecular mechanisms of the antioxidant and antigenotoxic
properties of chlorophyll derivatives and, lastly, to investigate new biological actions of
them. However, the fundamental physiological functions of the chlorophylls are their
Conclusion: This review aims to reflect the chemical grounds of the healthy and/or medical
features of chlorophylls, including the consequences, advantages or even new actions
that modifications over the chlorophyll structure introduce. Finally, new perspectives in
the functionality of chlorophylls at molecular level are discussed.