Recent advances and perspectives of aggregation-induced emission as an emerging platform for detection and bioimaging

Imran Mahmood Khan, Sobia Niazi, Muhammad Kashif Iqbal Khan, Imran Pasha, Ali Mohsin, Junaid Haider, Muhammad Waheed Iqbal, Abdur Rehman, Lin Yue, Zhouping Wang

Research output: Journal PublicationReview articlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


The emergent arena of bio-nanotechnology aims at modernizing the detection and bioimaging discipline via the introduction of aggregation-induced emission (AIE)-based tools. AIE is a unique photophysical phenomenon because of the photoemission of the propeller-like molecules that could be significantly enhanced after aggregation. AIE differs immensely from the generally recognized aggregation-caused emission quenching (ACQ) observed in numerous conventional luminophores that own well-conjugated and planar structures. The luminogens with AIE aspects (AIEgens) are more promising to be applied in various research front. Driven by ever-increasing interests for good applicability, fast response, excellent fluorescence and sensitivity, the fluorescent AIE-probes with numerous working methodology and innovative functionalities are prospering at an astonishing speed. In this review, we have presented a brief introduction of AIE with development history, comparison with conventional fluorophores, expected working methodology, discuss the structure-property relationship of the AIEgens and summarized the recent progress of AIE molecular and nanomaterial probe over the past 3 years with their respective mechanism of detection and bioimaging. In addition, this work provides a novel platform for the preparation and potential applications of multifunctional AIE-active nano-systems responsiveness for various detection of analytes and cell bioimaging with respective examples and also encompasses the recent progress, challenges and potential breakthroughs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115637
JournalTrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • AIE
  • Bioimaging
  • Challenges
  • Detection
  • Fluorescence
  • Nanomaterial
  • Sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy


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