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β-Galactosidase Responsive AIE Fluorogene for Identification and Removal of Senescent Cancer Cells

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Abstract

The selective identification and removal of senescent cells including senescent cancer cells are very important to prolong life and improve the treatment efficacy of cancer therapy. In this study, we integrated the high selectivity of enzyme-instructed self-assembly (EISA) and efficient reactive oxygen species (ROS) generating property of a novel luminogen with aggrega-tion-induced emission (AIE) character to selectively identify and remove senescent HeLa (s-HeLa) cells. The s-HeLa cells expressed high levels of β-galactosidase (β-Gal), which led to the selective accumulation and formation of nanomaterials of Comp. 1 in the cells. Upon white light irradiation, the nanomaterials efficiently produced ROS and therefore killed s-HeLa cells. Our study demonstrated a promising strategy to selectively remove senescent cells and improve the treatment efficacy of cancer therapy.

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