A multifunctional luminogen with aggregation-induced emission characteristics for selective imaging and photodynamic killing of both cancer cells and Gram-positive bacteria†
The increasing impact of bacteria on cancer progression and treatments has been witnessed in recent years. Insufficient attention to cancer-related bacteria may lead to distant metastasis, poor therapeutic efficiency and low survival rates for cancers. Exploiting new approaches that enable selective imaging and effective killing of cancer cells and bacteria are thus of great value for the battle against cancers. Herein, we report an aggregation-induced emission (AIE) luminogen, namely TPPCN, with intense emission and efficient reactive oxygen species production for fluorescence imaging and killing cancer cells and Gram-positive bacteria. This work not only demonstrates the potential of AIE luminogens in comprehensive cancer treatments but also stimulates the enthusiasm of scientists to design more multifunctional AIE systems for both cancer and bacteria theranostics.