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Salt-Responsive Self-Assembly of Luminescent Hydrogel with Intrinsic Gelation-Enhanced Emission

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journal contribution
posted on 2014-01-22, 00:00 authored by Chunqiu Zhang, Chang Liu, Xiangdong Xue, Xu Zhang, Shuaidong Huo, Yonggang Jiang, Wei-Qiang Chen, Guozhang Zou, Xing-Jie Liang
Tetraphenylethylene (TPE), an archetypal luminogen with aggregation-induced emission (AIE), was grafted to a salt-responsive peptide to yield a yet luminescent hydrogelator. After testing different parameters, we found that only in the presence of salt rather than temperature, pH, and solvent, did the monodisperse hydrogelators self-assemble into a hydrogel network with bright emission turned on. The induced luminescence was a dynamic change and enabled real time monitoring of hydrogel formation. Grating AIE molecules to stimuli-responsive peptides is a promising approach for the development of self-revealing soft materials for biological applications.

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