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Exploration of biocompatible AIEgens from human trichochrome

由人类毛发红素结构改造的生物相容性聚集诱导发 光体系

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人类毛发红素(HTC)是一类生物安全性高、环境友好、性能稳 定的天然色素, 然而HTC的核心结构BBTD在溶解状态和固态下均无荧 光发射. 通过结构测试结合理论计算, 我们揭示了该化合物独特的双重 暗态光物理特性的内在机理. 在深刻理解机理的基础上, 我们利用化学 修饰的手段改造了BBTD母核, 设计合成了一系列具有聚集诱导发射光 性质的BBTD衍生物, 并成功将其应用于溶酶体靶向成像以及DNA定量 检测领域.

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This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (22021715 and 52150222) and the Major Scientific and Technological Project of the Department of Science & Technology, Zhejiang Province (2020C03030). Zhang HK thanks the support from the Open Fund of Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Luminescence from Molecular Aggregates and the South China University of Technology (2019B030301003).

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Authors and Affiliations



Zang Q and Zhang J carried out the molecular design and synthesis, structure characterization, photophysical property measurements and data analyses, and manuscript preparation. Huang C conducted the cell incubation, confocal-image taking and treatment under the guidance of Liu J; Zhang H helped with the theoretical calculations and mechanism analysis. Sun JZ managed the research projects, and guided the mechanism understanding and manuscript writing. Tang BZ assisted in the project and AIE mechanism analysis.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Jing Zhi Sun  (孙景志) or Ben Zhong Tang  (唐本忠).

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Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary information

Experimental details and supporting data are available in the online version of the paper.

Qiguang Zang received his bachelor’s degree and master degree from the Central South University. He got his PhD degree from the South China University of Technology (SCUT) in 2018, under the supervision of Prof. Ben Zhong Tang and Prof. Rongrong Hu. He has been a postdoctor at Zhejiang University (ZJU) since 2020. His research interests focus on exploring the mechanism of molecular luminescence and developing novel AIE-active materials.

Jie Zhang received her bachelor’s degree from SCUT in 2014. She got her PhD degree in material science and engineering from ZJU in 2019, under the supervision of Prof. Ben Zhong Tang, Prof. Anjun Qin and Prof. Jing Zhi Sun. She has been a postdoctor at ZJU since 2019. Her research interests focus on the novel polymerization methodology based on green monomers.

Jing Zhi Sun received his bachelor’s, MSc and PhD degrees from Jilin University majored in chemistry. He was a postdoctoral fellow (1999) and then worked as an associated (2001) and full professor (2006) at ZJU. His research interests focus on the synthesis of functional polymers with triple-bond monomers and organic/polymeric luminescent materials with aggregation-induced emission property for chemical, environmental, biological and medical sensors.

Ben Zhong Tang received his BSc and PhD degrees from SCUT and Kyoto University, respectively. He conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Toronto. He joined Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) as an assistant professor in 1994 and was promoted to chair professor in 2008. Now he is the presidential chair professor at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen (CUHK-SZ) and an adjunct professor at HKUST. His research interests include materials science, macromolecular chemistry, and biomedical theranostics. He is a pioneer of the concept of aggregation-induced emission (AIE).

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Zang, Q., Zhang, J., Huang, C. et al. Exploration of biocompatible AIEgens from human trichochrome. Sci. China Mater. 65, 3175–3181 (2022).

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