A new way to accurately identify and illuminate bone damage promises that X-rays will be more effective in diagnosing bone and other injuries, say researchers at Flinders University.
The new technique, which addresses the potential biomedical application of ancient material to inorganic salt-based aggregation-based radioluminescence, could open new frontiers in medicine, including X-ray dosimetry, bioimaging and advanced applications such as optogenetics, says Professor Youhong Tang of the Faculty of Science Flinders University Engineering.
Review article, published by Professor Tang, postdoctoral fellow dr. Javad Tavokoli, a colleague from Hong Kong and Australian technology company Micro-X, studied the potential of AIEgen luminogens (AIEgens) in deep tissue imaging. An X-ray examination provided by Adelaide-based Micro-X was used in the study.
“We were able to use Micro-X advanced X-ray machines in the Tonsley Innovation District to demonstrate the benefits of this AIEgen system that can be excited by X-rays (as a radioluminescent emitter) and UV light (as a photoluminescence emitter) compared to current AIEs that they mostly only act as a photoluminescence emitter, ”he says.
The study highlighted the shortcomings of autofluorescence, poor radio signal-to-noise, and poor tissue penetration depth of traditional photoluminescence emitters that could be elegantly addressed by these radioluminescent luminogens.. “
Youhong Tang, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Engineering at Flinders University
“Not only do they accurately identify bone and soft tissue damage for better diagnosis and treatment, but we suggest that further studies could see these AIE-based materials with multifunctionalities used for improved drug delivery, biosensors, bioimaging and tissue engineering.”
Leading author of an article from the journal in Aggregate, Dr. Tavokoli, based at the Center for Health Technology at Sydney University of Technology, says the next generation of fluorescent gels could also take advantage of additional light-emitting properties that make them attractive for a variety of applications.
The latest work not only explores a range of inorganic AIE systems, but also “basically helps to understand both unconventional organic and inorganic cluster luminescence phenomena,” concludes Professor Tang.
Zhao, Z., and others. (2021) A re-examination of the ancient system of emissions caused by inorganic aggregation: the enlightenment of clusteroluminescence. Aggregate. doi.org/10.1002/agt2.36.