Dr. Shiping Yang


Fluorescence imaging-guided photodynamic therapy (PDT) has been presented to be a robust therapeutic modality for cancer.1 In this nascent yet promising research field, the technology of aggregation-induced emission (AIE) provides an ideal territory where imaging and therapy could be concurrent in a single molecule.2 However, the currently developed AIE photosensitizers (AIE PSs) exist several drawbacks like the tedious synthetic routes, poor tumor retention time and the untraversed study on the molecular biology mechanism.3,4 Herein, a novel molecular design tactic of anion-π+ interaction hand in hand with inherently rigid conformation that could boost both fluorescence efficiency and generation ability of reactive oxygen species is proposed through a concise synthetic method. Mechanistically, upon photosensitization by the cationic AIE PS, the Hippo signal pathway is closed and facilitated the nuclear location of yes-associated protein, which regulated the expression of apoptosis-involved genes. This study not only provide a new paradigm for developing multifunctional NIR AIE PSs but also sparks new ideas for precise cancer therapy.



  1. Pham, T. C.; Nguyen, V. N.; Choi, Y.; Lee, S.; Yoon, J. Recent Strategies to Develop Innovative Photosensitizers for Enhanced Photodynamic Therapy. Chem Rev 2021, 121, 13454−13619. 
  2. Kang, M.; Zhang, Z.; Song, N.; Li, M.; Sun, P.; Chen, X.; Wang, D.; Tang, B. Z. Aggregation-enhanced theranostics: AIE sparkles in biomedical field. Aggregate. 2020;1:80–106.
  3. Yang, Q.; Ma, H.; Liang, Y.; Dai, H. Rational Design of High Brightness NIR-II Organic Dyes with S-D-A-D-S Structure. Acc. Mater. Res. 2021, 2, 170−183.
  4. Liu, M.; Chen, Y.; Guo, Y.; Yuan, H.; Cui, T.; Yao, S.; Jin, S.; Fan, H.; Wang, C.; Xie, R.; He, W.; Guo, Z. Golgi apparatus-targeted aggregation-induced emission luminogens for effective cancer photodynamic therapy. Nat Commun 2022, 13, 2179.

University: HKUST

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