The emergence of powerful antibiotic-resistant bacteria caused by the abuse of antibiotics has become a public health problem. Photodynamic antibacterial therapy is regarded as an innovative and promising antibacterial approach due to its minor side effects and lack of drug resistance. Nevertheless, few photosensitizers (PSs) are reported to have near-infrared (NIR) emission, the ability to rapidly discriminate bacteria, and high photodynamic antibacterial efficiency. In this study, it is reported for the first time that a water-soluble NIR fluorescence emission rhodamine-based photosensitizer with aggregation-inducing emission (AIE) effects, referred to as CS-2I, can efficiently identify and kill Gram-positive bacteria. In a fluorescence imaging experiment with blended bacteria, CS-2I can selectively target Gram-positive bacteria and specifically label Gram-positive bacteria with high efficiency after only 5 min of incubation. Furthermore, CS-2I achieves complete inhibition of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) at an extremely low concentration (0.5 µm) and light dosage (6 J cm−2). Remarkably, CS-2I is mixed with Carbomer 940 to prepare an antibacterial hydrogel dressing (CS-2I@gel), and in vitro and in vivo results demonstrate that CS-2I@gel provides extraordinary performance in photodynamic antibacterial therapy. Hence, this study provides a new strategy and blueprint for the future design of antibacterial materials.
- aggregation-inducing effects
- bacterial discrimination
- hydrogel dressing
- photodynamic antibacterial therapy
- wound healing