Self-immolative colorimetric, fluorescent and chemiluminescent chemosensors

Jiatao Yan, Songyi Lee, Afang Zhang, Juyoung Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations


Self-immolative chemistry features a cascade of disassembly reactions in response to external stimuli, which provides great opportunities to design new self-immolative chemosensors with advanced performance and/or functions. Self-immolative spacers in these chemosensors not only facilitate the linkage of designed triggers to various chromophores or fluorophores, but can also be used to solve inherent problems associated with native chemosensors, such as low reactivities, poor stabilities and slow response times. Their capacity for stimuli-responsive release through operation of a self-immolative reaction further enables integration of sophisticated functions into chemosensors, including signal amplification, enzyme activity localization, and drug monitoring. Significant advances have been made in the field of self-immolative chemosensors, leading to intriguing applications to sensitive detection of analytes, bioimaging and cancer theranostics. This tutorial review summarizes this recent progress with a focus on their design strategies and sensing mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6900-6916
Number of pages17
JournalChemical Society Reviews
Issue number18
StatePublished - 21 Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


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