Theranostics 2018; 8(18):4925-4956. doi:10.7150/thno.27787 This issue


Theranostics based on AIEgens

Dong Wang1,2,✉, Michelle Mei Suet Lee2, Wenhan Xu2, Ryan Tsz Kin Kwok2, Jacky Wing Yip Lam2, Ben Zhong Tang1,2,✉

1. Center for AIE Research, College of Materials Science and Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China.
2. Hong Kong Branch of Chinese National Engineering Research Center for Tissue Restoration and Reconstruction, Department of Chemistry, Institute of Molecular Functional Materials, State Key Laboratory of Neuroscience, Division of Biomedical Engineering, and Division of Life Science, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China.

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Wang D, Lee MMS, Xu W, Kwok RTK, Lam JWY, Tang BZ. Theranostics based on AIEgens. Theranostics 2018; 8(18):4925-4956. doi:10.7150/thno.27787. Available from

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Graphic abstract

The utilization of luminogens with aggregation-induced emission (AIE) characteristics has recently been developed at a tremendous pace in the area of theranostics, mainly because AIE luminogens (AIEgens) hold various distinct advantages, such as good biocompatibility, excellent fluorescence properties, simple preparation and modification, perfect size of nano-aggregation for enhanced permeability and retention effect, promoted efficiencies of photodynamic and photothermal therapies, efficient photoacoustic imaging, and ready constructions of multimodal imaging and therapy. Significant breakthroughs and developments of theranostics based on AIEgens have been achieved in the past few years, and great progress has been witnessed in many theranostic modalities, indicating that AIEgens remarkably complement conventional theranostic materials and promote the development of theranostics. This review provides theoretical insights into the advantages of AIEgens in theranostics, and systematically summarizes the basic concepts, seminal studies, recent trends and perspectives in theranostics based on AIEgens. We believe that AIEgens would be promising multifunctional theranostic platforms in clinical fields and facilitate significant advancements in this research-active area.

Keywords: AIEgens, fluorescence imaging, photoacoustic imaging, cancer therapy, antibiosis