Aggregation-induced emission active metal complexes: a promising strategy to tackle bacterial infections†
Bacterial infection is a major global threat to human health and currently one of the leading causes of death worldwide. The development of probes for rapid diagnosis of bacteria with desired sensitivity and selectivity along with antibacterial activity against multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria has remained a great challenge. Whilst the traditional methods such as cell culture and colony counting, polymerase chain reaction and immunoassays are used for bacterial infection detection, these are time consuming, laborious and require a skilled operator. On the other hand, the rapid emergence of MDR bacteria is also posing another serious public health threat. Hence, it is an utmost urgency to develop novel therapeutics and rapid diagnostic agents for tackling MDR bacteria. Over the last few years, significant progress has been made towards the development of metal-based aggregation-induced emission luminogens (AIEgens) for bacterial management. These AIEgen materials offer potential applications for simultaneous detection and image-guided elimination of bacteria for the treatment of bacterial infections. In this Feature Article, we have highlighted the recent progress in the development of metal-based AIEgens for detection, discrimination and decimation of bacteria. In addition, the potential challenges in developing antibacterial agents and several future perspectives of metal-based AIEgens in this field have also been discussed.