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Aggregation-induced emission photosensitizers: from molecular design to photodynamic therapy

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journal contribution
posted on 02.07.2021, 05:15 by Jun Dai, Xia Wu, Siyang DingSiyang Ding, Xiaoding Lou, Fan Xia, Shixuan Wang, Yuning HongYuning Hong
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has emerged as a promising noninvasive treatment option for cancers and other diseases. The key factor that determines the effectiveness of PDT is the photosensitizers (PSs). Upon light irradiation, the PSs would be activated, produce reactive oxygen species (ROS), and induce cell death. One of the challenges is that traditional PSs adopt a large flat disc-like structure, which tend to interact with the adjacent molecules through strong π-πstacking that reduces their ROS generation ability. Aggregation-induced emission (AIE) molecules with a twisted configuration to suppress strong intermolecular interactions represent a new class of PSs for image-guided PDT. In this Miniperspective, we summarize the recent progress on the design rationale of AIE-PSs and the strategies to achieve desirable theranostic applications in cancers. Subsequently, approaches of combining AIE-PS with other imaging and treatment modalities, challenges, and future directions are addressed.


This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21525523, 21722507, 21874121, 21974128), Australian Research Council (DE170100058) and Australia-China Science and Research Fund (Joint Research Centre for Personal Health Technologies).


Publication Date



Journal of Medicinal Chemistry





Article Number



17p. (p. 1996-2012)


American Chemical Society



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