Detection of Urinary Albumin Using a “Turn-on” Fluorescent Probe with Aggregation-Induced Emission Characteristics

Qi Hu, Bicheng Yao, Tze Cin Owyong, Sharon Prashanth, Changyu Wang, Xinyi Zhang, Wallace W.H. Wong, Youhong Tang, Yuning Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Human serum albumin (HSA) is a broadly used biomarker for the diagnosis of various diseases such as chronic kidney disease. Here, a fluorescent probe TC426 with aggregation-induced emission (AIE) characteristics is reported as a sensitive and specific probe for HSA. This probe is non-emissive in aqueous solution, meanwhile it shows bright fluorescence upon interacting with HSA, which makes it applicable in detecting HSA with a high signal to noise ratio. Besides, the fluorescence of TC426 exhibits a high linear correlation with the concentration of albumin in the range of microalbumin (20–200 mg/L), which has a significant importance for the early diagnosis of glomerulus related diseases. Compared with previously reported HSA probes TPE-4TA and BSPOTPE, TC426 shows comparable anti-interference ability towards creatinine and other major components in urine but is excited by a longer excitation wavelength at the visible light range. Finally, with the established assay, TC426 shows excellent performance in detecting HSA in real human urine, indicating its great potential in practical urinalysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1245-1252
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry - An Asian Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2021


  • aggregation-induced emission
  • fluorescence probe
  • human serum albumin
  • turn-on response
  • urinalysis


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