Publications by authors named "Hengchang Ma"

16 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Incorporating spin-orbit coupling promoted functional group into an enhanced electron D-A system: A useful designing concept for fabricating efficient photosensitizer and imaging-guided photodynamic therapy.

Biomaterials 2021 08 9;275:120934. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Hong Kong Branch of Chinese National Engineering Research Center for Tissue Restoration and Reconstruction, Department of Chemistry, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, 999077, Hong Kong, China. Electronic address:

Intersystem crossing (ISC) is of great significance in photochemistry, and has a decisive influence on the properties of photosensitizers (PSs) for use in photodynamic therapy (PDT). However, the rationally design PSs with efficient ISC processes to implement superb reactive oxygen species (ROS) production is still a very challenging work. In this contribution, we described how a series of high-performance PSs were constructed through electron acceptor and donor engineering by integrating the smaller singlet-triplet energy gap (ΔE) and larger spin-orbit coupling (SOC)-beneficial functional groups into the PS frameworks. Among the yielded various PSs, TaTIC was confirmed as the best candidate for application in PDT, which was due to its most outstanding ROS generation capability, bright near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence with peak over 840 nm, as well as desired aggregation-induced emission (AIE) features. Importantly, the ROS generation efficiency of TaTIC was even superior to that of some popularly used PSs, including the most reputable PS of Rose Bengal. In order to further extend therapeutic applications, TaTIC was encapsulated with biocompatible amphiphilic matrix and formulated into water-dispersed nanoparticles (NPs). More excitedly, the as-prepared TaTIC NPs gave wonderful PDT performance on tumor-bearing mouse model, actualizing complete tumor elimination outcomes. Coupled with excellent biosecurity, TaTIC NPs would be a promising theranostic agent for practical clinical application.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biomaterials.2021.120934DOI Listing
August 2021

Precise Molecular Engineering of Small Organic Phototheranostic Agents toward Multimodal Imaging-Guided Synergistic Therapy.

ACS Nano 2021 04 2;15(4):7328-7339. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

Hong Kong Branch of Chinese National Engineering Research, Center for Tissue Restoration and Reconstruction, Department of Chemistry, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong 999077, China.

Precise molecular engineering is the most fundamental and even a great challenging task for the development of small organic fluorophores used as phototheranostic agents in multimodal imaging-guided synergistic therapy. To the best of our knowledge, there have been no previous reports regarding the fine fabrication of molecular structure from a proof-of-concept study, providing a single molecule with all phototheranostic modalities. Herein, an electron donating-accepting (D-A) system is constructed by using triphenylamine derivatives as donors and diverse electron-deficient partners as acceptors, yielding aggregation-induced emission luminogens with tunable emission wavelength (up to 933 nm) and light absorption capability (ε up to 6.9 × 10 M cm). Notably, by integrating the spin-orbit coupling-promoted carbonyl group and the strong stretching vibrations of -CN to the D-A systems, a highly performing phototheranostic agent, namely, MeTIC, is constructed. When encapsulating MeTIC into nanovehicles, the obtained MeTIC nanoparticles show excellent performance in multimodality theranostics for cancer treatment. This work is expected to provide an organic phototheranostic agent designing principle for potential clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.1c00585DOI Listing
April 2021

Functional Copolymers Married with Lanthanide(III) Ions: A Win-Win Pathway to Fabricate Rare Earth Fluorescent Materials with Multiple Applications.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 Feb 22;13(4):5539-5550. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

Key Laboratory of Polymer Materials of Gansu Province, Key Laboratory of Eco-Environment-Related Polymer Materials Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, P.R. China.

Lanthanide(III)-based luminescent materials have attracted great research interests due to their unique optical, electronic, and chemical characteristics. Up to now, how to extend these materials into large, broad application fields is still a great challenging task. In this contribution, we are intended to present a simple but facile strategy to enhance the luminescence from lanthanide ions and impart lanthanide(III)-based luminescent materials with more applicable properties, leading to meet the requirements from different purposes, such as being used as highly emissive powders, hydrogels, films, and sensitive probes under external stimuli. Herein, a water soluble, blue color emissive, temperature sensitive, and film-processable copolymer (Poly-ligand) was designed and synthesized. Upon complexing with Eu and Tb ions, the red color-emitting Poly-ligand-Eu and green color-emitting Poly-ligand-Tb were produced. After finely tuning the ratios between them, a standard white color emitting Poly-ligand-Eu:Tb (CIE = 0.33 and 0.33) was obtained. Furthermore, the resulted materials not only possessed the emissive luminescent property but also inherited functions from the copolymer of Poly-ligand. Thus, these lanthanide(III)-based materials were used for fingerprint imaging, luminescent soft matters formation, colorful organic light-emitting diode device fabrication, and acid/alkali vapors detection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.0c19827DOI Listing
February 2021

Facile Polymerization Strategy for the Construction of Eu-Based Fluorescent Materials with the Capability of Distinguishing DO from HO.

Anal Chem 2020 06 21;92(11):7808-7815. Epub 2020 May 21.

Key Laboratory of Eco-Environment-Related Polymer Materials Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, P. R. China.

Aggregation-induced emission (AIE) and antenna effect (AE) are two important luminescence behaviors. Connecting them into polymers is a promising but challenging work, which can supply opportunities for luminescence materials with extensive applications. In this work, AIE-active Eu-coordinated polymers (Poly-Eu-1, -2, -3, and -4) have been synthesized, and the efficient AE was verified. This finding presents a facile approach to obtain the Ln-based solid luminescence materials due to the synergistic effect from AIE and AE. Also, benefiting from the film-processing ability and water solubility, Poly-Eu-1, -2, -3, and -4 could be employed with different application purposes. In the solution phase, they can be used as sensitive optical probes to detect trace amounts of HO and DO, and the limit of detection (LOD) of Poly-Eu-2 toward DO in HO is determined to be 7.8 ppm. This discovery is a novel strategy for the construction of DO optical sensors with a totally intervention-free style.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.0c00981DOI Listing
June 2020

Synthesis of AIE-Active Materials with Their Applications for Antibacterial Activity, Specific Imaging of Mitochondrion and Image-Guided Photodynamic Therapy.

ACS Appl Bio Mater 2020 Feb 28;3(2):1187-1196. Epub 2020 Jan 28.

Key Laboratory of Eco-Environment-Related Polymer Materials Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China.

In comparison with fluorescence molecules with aggregation-caused quenching (ACQ), fluorescence molecules with aggregation-induced emission (AIE) have great advantages in cell imaging, image-guided photodynamic therapy (PDT), and antibacterial activity. However, the reasonable design and synthesis of related molecules are still of great challenges. Herein, a consecutive strategy via several reliable reactions to prepare a series of AIE-active luminogens by adjusting their structures is reported. Having concentrated on the factors for the principle purpose of O generation, TPA-18 is picked out within all triphenylamine (TPA) derivatives according to its longer emission wavelength (640 nm in solid), the lowest energy gap between HOMO and LUMO (calculated as 2.04 eV), the totally separated orbital distributions of HOMO and LUMO, and typical AIE characteristics. Meanwhile, owing to the presence of the positive structural charge and the bright emission color, TPA-18 in aggregated form is detected as an impressive probe for the mitochondria-targeted imaging and living zebrafish embryos imaging in vivo. Accordingly, TPA-18 can effectively generate O reactive oxygen species; it provides an effective application for image-guided photodynamic cancer treatment and antibacterial activity. Therefore, this study not only synthesized AIE photosensitizer with tunable emission wavelength (from blue to red color) but also raised a new concept for the constructing AIEgens with versatile applications in cell imaging, antibacterial activity, and image-guided PDT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsabm.9b01094DOI Listing
February 2020

Incorporating Thiourea into Fluorescent Probes: A Reliable Strategy for Mitochondrion-Targeted Imaging and Superoxide Anion Tracking in Living Cells.

Anal Chem 2020 02 24;92(3):2824-2829. Epub 2020 Jan 24.

Key Laboratory of Eco-Environment-Related Polymer Materials Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering , Northwest Normal University , Lanzhou 730070 , China.

Three aggregation-induced emission active fluorescent compounds, TPA-Pyr-Octane, TPA-Pyr-Br, and TPA-Pyr-Thiourea (TPA = triphenylamine pyridinium), are synthesized; their tiny differences in chemical structures result in a huge difference in cell-imaging applications. Especially, incorporating thiourea into fluorescent probes is found as a reliable strategy for mitochondrion-targeted imaging and superoxide anion tracking in living cells, which is possibly due to the presence of hydrogen bonding between thiourea and mitochondrion proteins. This finding is very useful for the design of biosensors and delivery carriers in disease treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.9b05320DOI Listing
February 2020

One immunoassay probe makes SERS and fluorescence two readout signals: Rapid imaging and determination of intracellular glutathione levels.

Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc 2019 Dec 22;223:117303. Epub 2019 Jun 22.

College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China. Electronic address:

In this paper, one probe (TPPA-VCh) with fluorescence and Surface-enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) two readout signals, which has high sensitivity and specificity to glutathione in both vitro and cell image applications, is designed and synthesized. Furthermore, the quenched emissions and intensified SERS signals is obtained by loading TPPA-VCh on the surfaces of gold nanoparticles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.saa.2019.117303DOI Listing
December 2019

Two aggregation-induced emission (AIE)-active reaction-type probes: for real-time detecting and imaging of superoxide anions.

Analyst 2019 Jan 8;144(2):536-542. Epub 2018 Nov 8.

Key Laboratory of Eco-Environment-Related Polymer Materials Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou, 730070, China.

Fluorescent probes are powerful tools for investigating reactive oxygen species (ROS) in living organisms. The overproduced "primary" ROS of superoxide anions (O˙) cause a chain of oxidative damage. In order to monitor O˙ level fluctuations in living cells, we synthesized two reaction-type probes of TPA-DHP-1,2,3 and TPA-PPA-1,2,3, which were composed of an electron-rich triphenylamine (TPA) and the very active functional groups of dihydropyridine (DHP) and pyridinium (PPA). Intriguingly, DHP and PPA were able to carry out easy proton abstractions and nucleophilic reactions in the presence of O˙, resulting in the corresponding products with sharp wavelength shifts, and elevated fluorescence intensities. Therefore, undesirable background fluorescence interference can be reduced during the monitoring and imaging process. Meanwhile, the developed dual-channel monitoring strategy not only provides observations of the O˙ level fluctuations, but could also be employed to image the dynamic accumulation process of probes in the different cell organelles. Therefore, the design could provide a simple, accurate and universal platform for biological applications in future research work.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c8an01811aDOI Listing
January 2019

Positively Charged Hyperbranched Polymers with Tunable Fluorescence and Cell Imaging Application.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2018 Jun 29;10(23):20064-20072. Epub 2018 May 29.

Key Laboratory of Polymer Materials of Gansu Province, Key Laboratory of Eco-Environment-Related Polymer Materials Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering , Northwest Normal University , Lanzhou 730070 , PR China.

Fluorescence-tunable materials are becoming increasingly attractive because of their potential applications in optics, electronics, and biomedical technology. Herein, a multicolor molecular pixel system is realized using a simple copolymerization method. Bleeding of two complementary colors from blue and yellow fluorescence segments reproduced serious multicolor fluorescence materials. Interestingly, the emission colors of the polymers can be fine-tuned in the solid state, solution phase, and in hydrogel state. More importantly, the positive fluorescent polymers exhibited cell-membrane permeable ability and were found to accumulate on the cell nucleus, exhibiting remarkable selectivity to give bright fluorescence. The DNA/RNA selectivity experiments in vitro and in vivo verified that [tris(4-(pyridin-4-yl)phenyl)amine]-[1,8-dibromooctane] has prominent selectivity to DNA over RNA inside cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.8b05073DOI Listing
June 2018

Aggregation-induced emission (AIE)-active fluorescent probes with multiple binding sites toward ATP sensing and live cell imaging.

J Mater Chem B 2017 Nov 23;5(43):8525-8531. Epub 2017 Oct 23.

Key Laboratory of Eco-Environment-Related Polymer Materials Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou, 730070, China.

Aggregation-induced emission (AIE)-active compounds are attractive fluorescent materials for applications in chemical and biological sensing. The AIE effect of such materials amplifies changes in the fluorescence signal due to the physical state transformation from aggregation to disaggregation, which can be employed for detecting various analytes with high sensitivity. In particular, specific bio-active analyte recognition is not only very interesting but also challenging. In this paper, we report a set of novel AIE-active fluorescent probes containing pyridiniums and boric acid groups (TPA-PP, TPA-PPA-1, TPA-PPA-2, TPA-PPA-3), which has been developed for adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) recognition. These probes with two types of interaction modes and multiple connection sites toward ATP molecules are able to selectively discriminate ATP among other bioactive anions with a significant enhancement in fluorescence emission. In particular, in the application of cell imaging, as the number of positive charges and boric acid group increased further, the probes could penetrate into cells, and then enter into the nucleus very specifically. These results clearly demonstrate that the newly developed sensors are suitable for specific tracing of different cell organelles with a height visualization and retention ability. Therefore, all of them are confirmed as promising alternatives for live cell imaging in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c7tb02399eDOI Listing
November 2017

One bioprobe: a fluorescent and AIE-active macromolecule; two targets: nucleolus and mitochondria with long term tracking.

J Mater Chem B 2017 Jan 5;5(4):655-660. Epub 2016 Dec 5.

Key Laboratory of Eco-Environment-Related Polymer Materials Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou, 730070, P. R. China.

Specific organelle imaging and long-term cellular tracking are of paramount importance in monitoring biological processes, pathological pathways, and therapeutic effects, etc. Herein, we report a novel macromolecule fluorescent probe (TPPA-DBO), which is synthesized from tris(4-(pyridin-4-yl)phenyl)amine (TPPA) and 1,8-dibromononane (DBO) with a gram scale by a simple method. TPPA-DBO demonstrates a highly specific nucleolus-targeting ability, which is very challenging in the bioimaging research field. We have shown that the green nucleolus-specificity probe TPPA-DBO has advantages over the commercially available nucleolus-staining probes such as DAPI, Hoechst dyes and SYTOs in terms of its AIE-performance, large Stokes shift (175 nm), excellent photostability, and promising usefulness in live cell imaging experiments. Surprisingly, after internalizing TPPA-DBO into the nucleus region for a period of time, some TPPA-DBO are reversely diffused from nucleolus into the cytoplasm, thus resulting in the staining of mitochondria with a redder emission color. This research result may provide a new concept of cellular tracker design and provide insight into biological questions, understanding disease mechanismss, and designing new therapeutic strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c6tb02844fDOI Listing
January 2017

Study of Red-Emission Piezochromic Materials Based on Triphenylamine.

Chempluschem 2016 Jul 17;81(7):637-645. Epub 2016 Jun 17.

Chemistry Department, Northwest Normal University, 967 Anning East Road, Lanzhou, 730070, P. R. China.

Two conjugated molecules based on triphenylamine and 1,3-indandione have been synthesized by employing Knoevenagel condensation. Both materials demonstrated aggregation-induced emission behavior, and solvato- and piezochromic properties. These red luminescence materials are able to respond to F and I sensitively. The emission wavelength changed by almost 100 nm in the presence of F and I , and could be observed by the naked eye under daylight and UV light.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cplu.201600104DOI Listing
July 2016

AIE-Active Tetraphenylethylene Cross-Linked N-Isopropylacrylamide Polymer: A Long-Term Fluorescent Cellular Tracker.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2016 Apr 28;8(13):8341-8. Epub 2016 Mar 28.

Key Laboratory of Polymer Materials of Gansu Province, Key Laboratory of Eco-Environment-Related Polymer Materials Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Northwest Normal University , Lanzhou, Gansu 730070, China.

There is a great demand to understand cell transplantation, migration, division, fusion, and lysis. Correspondingly, illuminant object-labeled bioprobes have been employed as long-term cellular tracers, which could provide valuable insights into detecting these biological processes. In this work, we designed and synthesized a fluorescent polymer, which was comprised of hydrophilic N-isopropylacrylamide polymers as matrix and a hydrophobic tetraphenylethene (TPE) unit as AIE-active cross-linkers (DDBV). It was found that when the feed molar ratio of N-isopropylacrylamides to cross-linkers was 22:1, the produced polymers demonstrated the desirable LCST at 37.5 °C. And also, the temperature sensitivity of polymers could induce phase transfer within a narrow window (32-38 °C). Meanwhile, phase transfer was able to lead the florescent response. And thus, we concluded that two responses occur when one stimulus is input. Therefore, the new cross-linker of DDBV rendered a new performance from PNIPAm and a new chance to create new materials. Moreover, the resulted polymers demonstrated very good biocompatibility with living A549 human lung adenocarcinoma cells and L929 mouse fibroblast cells, respectively. Both of these cells retained very active viabilities in the concentration range of 7.8-125 μL/mg of polymers. Notably, P[(NIPAm)22-(DDBV)1] (P6) could be readily internalized by living cells with a noninvasive manner. The cellular staining by the fluorescent polymer is so indelible that it enables cell tracing for at least 10 passages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.5b11091DOI Listing
April 2016

Water-Soluble Fluorescent Probes for Selective Recognition of Lysine and Its Application in an Object Carry-and-Release System.

Chem Asian J 2016 Jan 30;11(1):58-63. Epub 2015 Sep 30.

Chemistry Department, Northwest Normal University, 967 Anning East Road, Lanzhou, 730070, China.

A water-soluble fluorescent probe PEG-TPA-5' was synthesized, which shows an excellent selectivity to detect Lys in aqueous phase. An object carry-and-release system is established by applying PEG-TPA-5' as carrier and Lys as chemical stimulating source.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/asia.201500884DOI Listing
January 2016

Methyl Cinnamate-Derived Fluorescent Rigid Organogels Based on Cooperative π-π Stacking and C═O···π Interactions Instead of H-Bonding and Alkyl Chains.

Langmuir 2015 May 22;31(17):4916-23. Epub 2015 Apr 22.

Key Laboratory of Polymer Materials of Gansu Province, Key Laboratory of Eco-Environment-Related Polymer Materials Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, PR China.

A new class of rigid low-molecular-mass organic gelators (LMOGs) was synthesized by McMurry and Heck reactions, and their gels and photophysical properties were investigated. The LMOGs lacked alkyl chain and H-bonding units and produced good gelation ability in selected mixed organic solvents facilitated by cooperative π-π stacking and C═O···π interactions. Sensitive gel-sol transformation by molecular aggregation and disaggregation was easily achieved upon heating and cooling. H-H 2D NOESY and X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns showed the π-π stacking and C═O···π interactions between tiny methyl acrylate groups as "tails". Importantly, this soft interaction model offers a useful tool for the future design and construction of supramolecular structures. At present, the LMOGs reported herein offer a sensitive gel-formation ability and aggregation-induced emission (AIE) property and thus have promising application potentials as functional soft matter in amorphous materials, photoelectric materials, and so on.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.5b00275DOI Listing
May 2015

Photodegradation of textile dye Rhodamine B over a novel biopolymer-metal complex wool-Pd/CdS photocatalysts under visible light irradiation.

J Photochem Photobiol B 2013 Sep 10;126:47-54. Epub 2013 Jul 10.

College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Northwest Normal University, Key Laboratory of Eco-Environment-Related Polymer Materials, Ministry of Education of China, Key Laboratory of Gansu Polymer Materials, Lanzhou 730070, China.

A novel biopolymer-metal complex wool-Pd/CdS photocatalysts were prepared and exhibited high activity for photodegradation of Rh B under visible light irradiation. The wool-Pd could not only enhance the utilization rate of noble metal Pd but also significantly improve the activity of dye degradation. Wool-Pd was able to introduce Pd and PdS to effectively prohibit the recombination of photogenerated electrons and holes. The optimal weight percentage of wool-Pd in the photocatalyst was found to be 0.5wt%, which resulted in a good result of degradation of Rh B under visible light. It is obviously better in the catalyst efficiency than pure CdS. The photocatalysts were characterized by X-ray diffraction, diffuse reflectance UV-vis spectroscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic (XPS) studies, transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In a word, the prepared novel biopolymer-metal complex wool-Pd/CdS photocatalysts not only improve the degradation efficiency of Rh B, but also has a good advantage of recycling and cost-effective. It will have a good application prospect. In addition, the possible degradation pathway of Rh B was proposed in this paper.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2013.07.007DOI Listing
September 2013
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