A Biocompatible Dual-AIEgen System without Spectral Overlap for Quantitation of Microbial Viability and Monitoring of Biofilm Formation


Lacking rapid and reliable microbial detection and sensing platforms, insufficient understanding towards microbial behaviors may generated or delayed precautions could be made, which greatly threatens human life and increase heavy financial burdens to the society. In this contribution, a dual-aggregation-induced emission luminogen (AIEgen) system is successfully developed for microbial imaging and metabolic status sensing. This system consists of two AIEgens (DCQA and TPE-2BA) that bear positive charged groups or boric acid groups, providing universal microbial staining ability and specific affinity to dead microbes, respectively. On the basis of the distinctive fluorescence response produced by the diverse interaction of AIEgens with live or dead microbes, this dual-AIEgen system can detect all the microbe and identify their viabilities. Furthermore, the morphology and metabolic status of a sessile biofilm can also be imaged and monitored. The system exhibits rapid labelling, suitable for various microbes, and good biocompatibilities.