Restriction of molecular motion to a higher level: Towards bright AIE dots for biomedical applications

iScience. 2023 Apr 8;26(5):106568. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2023.106568. eCollection 2023 May 19.


In the late 19th century, scientists began to study the photophysical differences between chromophores in the solution and aggregate states, which breed the recognition of the prototypical processes of aggregation-caused quenching and aggregation-induced emission (AIE). In particular, the conceptual discovery of the AIE phenomenon has spawned the innovation of luminogenic materials with high emission in the aggregate state based on their unique working principle termed the restriction of intramolecular motion. As AIE luminogens have been practically fabricated into AIE dots for bioimaging, further improvement of their brightness is needed although this is technically challenging. In this review, we surveyed the recent advances in strategic molecular engineering of highly emissive AIE dots, including nanoscale crystallization and matrix-assisted rigidification. We hope that this timely summary can deepen the understanding about the root cause of the high emission of AIE dots and provide inspiration to the rational design of functional aggregates.

PMID:37128609 | PMC:PMC10148129 | DOI:10.1016/j.isci.2023.106568


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