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A Strategy for Dramatically Enhancing the Selectivity of Molecules Showing Aggregation-Induced Emission towards Biomacromolecules with the Aid of Graphene Oxide

Authors

  • Xiujuan Xu,

    1. Department of Chemistry, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 27-68756757
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  • Jijun Li,

    1. State Key Laboratory for Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces and Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemistry Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen, 361005 (P.R. China)
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  • Qianqian Li,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 27-68756757
    • Department of Chemistry, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 27-68756757
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  • Jing Huang,

    1. Department of Chemistry, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 27-68756757
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  • Prof. Yongqiang Dong,

    1. Institute of Chemistry, The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Hong Kong (P.R. China)
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  • Dr. Yuning Hong,

    1. Institute of Chemistry, The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Hong Kong (P.R. China)
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  • Prof. Jiawei Yan,

    1. State Key Laboratory for Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces and Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemistry Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen, 361005 (P.R. China)
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  • Prof. Jingui Qin,

    1. Department of Chemistry, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 27-68756757
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  • Prof. Zhen Li,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 27-68756757
    • Department of Chemistry, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 27-68756757
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  • Prof. Ben Zhong Tang

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Chemistry, The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Hong Kong (P.R. China)
    • Institute of Chemistry, The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Hong Kong (P.R. China)
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Abstract

By intelligently utilizing the different interacting strengths between different moieties according to the displacement method, general biosensors with aggregation-induced emission (AIE) characteristics for biomacromolecules without selectivity were converted to excellent, highly selective probes for one specific biomacromolecule with the aid of graphene oxide (GO) in an aqueous medium. Importantly, thanks to the different interactions between the AIE molecule and biomacromolecules, just by simply changing the AIE molecule the sensing system could detect different types of biomacromolecules, thereby providing a new approach to the development of AIE-based sensors with high selectivity and sensitivity. More specifically, the complex of A2HPS⋅HCl—a derivative of hexaphenylsilone (HPS) functionalized by two amino (A2) groups (N(CH2CH3)3)—and GO only gives an “off–on” response to DNA, with a detection limit of 2.3 μg mL−1 toward DNA-CT (calf thymus); interestingly, the complex of TPE-N2C4 (1,2-bis{4-[4-(N,N,N-triethylammonium)butoxy]phenyl}-1,2-diphenylethene dibromide) and GO could only detect the presence of bovine serum albumin (BSA), whereas other biomacromolecules, including DNA, RNA, and even other proteins have very little influence.

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