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Title: Bioprobes based on AIE fluorogens
Authors: Ding, D. 
Li, K.
Liu, B. 
Tang, B.Z.
Issue Date: 19-Nov-2013
Citation: Ding, D., Li, K., Liu, B., Tang, B.Z. (2013-11-19). Bioprobes based on AIE fluorogens. Accounts of Chemical Research 46 (11) : 2441-2453. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Fluorescent bioprobes are powerful tools for analytical sensing and optical imaging, which allow direct visualization of biological analytes at the molecular level and offer useful insights into complex biological structures and processes. The sensing and imaging sensitivity of a bioprobe is determined by the brightness and contrast of its fluorescence before and after analyte binding. Emission from a fluorophore is often quenched at high concentration or in aggregate state, which is notoriously known as concentration quenching or aggregation-caused quenching (ACQ). The ACQ effect limits the label-to-analyte ratio and forces researchers to use very dilute solutions of fluorophores. It compels many probes to operate in a fluorescence "turn-off" mode with a narrow scope of practical applications.The unique aggregation-induced emission (AIE) process offers a straightforward solution to the ACQ problem. Typical AIE fluorogens are characterized by their propeller-shaped rotorlike structures, which undergo low-frequency torsional motions as isolated molecules and emit very weakly in solutions. Their aggregates show strong fluorescence mainly due to the restriction of their intramolecular rotations in the aggregate state. This fascinating attribute of AIE fluorogens provides a new platform for the development of fluorescence light-up molecules and photostable nanoaggregates for specific analyte detection and imaging.In this Account, we review our recent AIE work to highlight the utility of AIE effect in the development of new fluorescent bioprobes, which allows the use of highly concentrated fluorogens for biosensing and imaging. The simple design and fluorescence turn-on feature of the molecular AIE bioprobes offer direct visualization of specific analytes and biological processes in aqueous media with higher sensitivity and better accuracy than traditional fluorescence turn-off probes. The AIE dot-based bioprobes with different formulations and surface functionalities show advanced features over quantum dots and small molecule dyes, such as large absorptivity, high luminosity, excellent biocompatibility, free of random blinking, and strong photobleaching resistance. These features enable cancer cell detection, long term cell tracing, and tumor imaging in a noninvasive and high contrast manner. Recent research has significantly expanded the scope of biological applications of AIE fluorogens and offers new strategies to fluorescent bioprobe design. We anticipate that future development on AIE bioprobes will combine one- or multiphoton fluorescence with other modalities (e.g., magnetic resonance imaging) or functionalities (e.g. therapy) to fully demonstrate their potential as a new generation of theranostic reagent. In parallel, the advances in molecular biology will provide more specific bioreceptors, which will enable the development of next generation AIE bioprobes with high selectivity and sensitivity for molecular sensing and imaging. © 2013 American Chemical Society.
Source Title: Accounts of Chemical Research
ISSN: 00014842
DOI: 10.1021/ar3003464
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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