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Issue 31, 2018
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Exploration of biocompatible AIEgens from natural resources

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Abstract

Luminogens with aggregation-induced emission (AIEgens) characteristics have been well developed and applied in various areas such as bio-imaging, theranostics, organic photoelectronics and chemo/bio sensors. However, most of the reported AIEgens suffer from the disadvantages of complex organic synthesis and high cost, as well as being environmentally unfriendly and hard to degrade, which have largely limited their real applications. In this work, we discovered berberine chloride, a natural isoquinoline alkaloid isolated from Chinese herbal plants, as an unconventional rotor-free AIEgen with bright solid-state emission and water-soluble characteristics. Single crystal structure analysis and optical property, viscosity, and host–guest interaction studies suggested that intramolecular vibration and twisted intramolecular charge transfer were responsible for the AIE phenomenon of berberine chloride. Moreover, berberine chloride was biocompatible and could specifically target lipid droplets in a fluorescence turn-on and wash-free manner, demonstrating the great potential of natural products as promising AIE probes.

Graphical abstract: Exploration of biocompatible AIEgens from natural resources

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Apr 2018, accepted on 28 Jun 2018 and first published on 29 Jun 2018


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C8SC01635F
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2018,9, 6497-6502
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Exploration of biocompatible AIEgens from natural resources

    Y. Gu, Z. Zhao, H. Su, P. Zhang, J. Liu, G. Niu, S. Li, Z. Wang, R. T. K. Kwok, X. Ni, J. Sun, A. Qin, Jacky W. Y. Lam and B. Z. Tang, Chem. Sci., 2018, 9, 6497
    DOI: 10.1039/C8SC01635F

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