AIEgens-integrated structural color barcodes for binary screening of microRNAs

Feika Bian, Hanxu Chen, Lingyu Sun, Ning Li, Yuanjin Zhao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Highly sensitive microRNAs (miRNA) imaging is of great value in the early diagnosis of tumors. Here, we present a novel aggregation-induced emission luminogens (AIEgens) integrated structural color barcode for binary screening of miRNAs. The barcode particles consist of periodically ordered silica nanoparticles encoded cores, and tetraphenylethylene carboxylate derivatives TPE-(COOH)4 integrated inverse opal polyacrylamide (PAAm) hydrogel shells. As the miRNA probes are decorated in the adjacent TPE-(COOH)4 molecules, the skeletal networks of the hydrogel as well as the TPE-(COOH)4 molecules would be closer with the presence of target miRNA due to the formation of a double helix. This phenomenon could not only result in fluorescence change of the TPE-(COOH)4 molecules, but also contribute to structural color variation of shell hydrogel. These two optical signals could be employed as binary channels for more accurate detection of target miRNAs. During this process, the solid cores of the barcodes could keep stable structural colors, thus providing foundation codes for multiplexed detection of miRNAs. Based on these features, we have demonstrated that the AIEgens-integrated structural color barcodes could realize the multiplexed screening of miRNAs in a microfluidics device for in vitro diagnosis, which implies the potential prospects in biomedical fields.

Original languageEnglish
Article number144800
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • AIEgens
  • microRNA
  • Particle
  • Sensor
  • Structural color


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