Innovative probes with aggregation-induced emission characteristics for sensing gaseous signaling molecules

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

10 Scopus Citations
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  • Zhen Zhang
  • Zhongming Huang
  • Shengliang Li


Original languageEnglish
Article number121753
Journal / PublicationBiomaterials
Online published22 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


Diseases are often accompanied by abnormal expression of gaseous signaling molecules including nitric oxide (NO), carbon monoxide (CO), and hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Sensing these gaseous markers is thus important for identification and investigation of pathological processes. In contrast to conventional approaches, such as electrochemical, chromatographical methods, etc., optical imaging shows merits including high sensitivity, good spatiotemporal resolution, and ideal selectivity. Especially, optical molecular probes with aggregation-induced emission (AIE) properties have good potential for bio-detection since they show maintained optical signals in the aggregated state. Recently, many AIE molecular probes have been developed for imaging disease-related gaseous signaling molecules. Generally, these probes recognize the analytes through turn-on or ratiometric approaches. This review summarizes the recent progress in organic probes with AIE properties for sensing gaseous markers and relative disease diagnosis applications. Based on the types of analytes, the probes are divided into three groups: NO, CO and H2S sensors. Molecular designs and sensing mechanisms of these AIE probes are highlighted. Their gaseous signaling molecules detection applications at cellular and animal levels are presented. Finally, some existing problems and future promising development directions are discussed with the hope to inspire further developments of AIE probes for precise disease diagnosis.

Research Area(s)

  • Aggregation-induced emission, Fluorescence diagnosis, Gas detection, Gaseous signaling molecules, Molecular probe