Pyrene-Based AIE Active Materials for Bioimaging and Theranostics Applications

Muthaiah Shellaiah, Kien Wen Sun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Aggregation-induced emission (AIE) is a unique research topic and property that can lead to a wide range of applications, including cellular imaging, theranostics, analyte quantitation and the specific detection of biologically important species. Towards the development of the AIE-active materials, many aromatic moieties composed of tetraphenylethylene, anthracene, pyrene, etc., have been developed. Among these aromatic moieties, pyrene is an aromatic hydrocarbon with a polycyclic flat structure containing four fused benzene rings to provide an unusual electron delocalization feature that is important in the AIE property. Numerous pyrene-based AIE-active materials have been reported with the AIE property towards sensing, imaging and theranostics applications. Most importantly, these AIE-active pyrene moieties exist as small molecules, Schiff bases, polymers, supramolecules, metal-organic frameworks, etc. This comprehensive review outlines utilizations of AIE-active pyrene-based materials on the imaging and theranostics studies. Moreover, the design and synthesis of these pyrene-based molecules are delivered with discussions on their future scopes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number550
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • aggregation-induced emission
  • cellular imaging
  • polymers
  • pyrene
  • sensors
  • small molecules
  • theranostics


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