Kun Li


Education and Experience

2016.9-Present:Professor, College of Chemistry, Sichuan University

2011.7-2016.8:Associate Professor, College of Chemistry, Sichuan University

2010.11-2011.10: Postdoctoral Fellow, The University of Hong Kong

2008.7-2011.6:Lecture of Sichuan University

2003.9-2008.6: Ph.D., Sichuan University 

1999.9-2003.7:B.S., Yantai University

Main Research Interests:

Chemical probes for living cells

Subcellular organelles targeted functional materials

Supramolecular assembly

Currently, the works in my group mainly focus on developing different reaction based probes or nanomaterial probes and their application in cell imaging. We have developed a series of subcellular-organelle-targeted probes for imaging and detection of reactive oxygen species (ROS), reactive nitrogen species (RNS) and reactive sulfur species (RSS) in living cells. Meanwhile, some smart functional materials for detecting of pH changing in living cells and multimodal imaging in tissues were also reported in our recent work.

Recent Publication:

1.Yang J.; Li, K.*; Hou, J.-T.; Lu C.-Y.; Li, L.-L.; Yu, K.-K.; Yu, X.-Q.* A novel coumarin-based water-soluble fluorescent probe for endogenously generated SO2 in living cells. Sci China Chem, 2017, 60: 793–798.

2.Li, K.#; Hou, J.-T.#; Yang, J.; Yu, X.-Q. A tumor-specific and mitochondria-targeted fluorescent probe for real-time sensing of hypochlorite in living cells. Chem. Commun.2017, 53, 5539-5541.

3.Hou, J.-T,#; Ren, W.-X.#; Li, K.#; Seo, J.; Sharma, A.; Yu, X.-Q.*; Kim, J.-S.*, “Fluorescent bioimaging of pH: from design to applications” Chem. Soc. Rev.2017, 46, 2076-2090.

4.Yu, K.-K; Li, K.*; Qin, H.-H.; Zhou, Q.; Qian, C.-H..; Liu, Y.-H.; Yu, X.-Q,*, “Construction of pH-sensitive “Submarine” based on gold nanoparticles with double insurance for intracellular pH mapping, quantifying of whole cells and in vivo applications”ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces2016,8, 22839?22848.

5.Li, L.-L.; Li, K.*; Liu, Y.-H.; Xu, H.-R. Yu,X.-Q.* “Red emission fluorescent probes for visualization of monoamine oxidase in living cells”. Sci. Rep.2016, 6, 31217.

6.Yang, J.; Li, K.* ; Hou, J.-T.; Li, L.-L.; Lu, C.-Y.; Xie, Y.-M.: Wang, X.; Yu, X.-Q, * “Novel Tumor-Specific and Mitochondria-Targeted near-Infrared-Emission Fluorescent Probe for SO2 Derivatives in Living Cells”, ACS Sens., 2016, 1, 166-172.

7.Liu, Y.; Li, K.*; Xie, K.-X.; Li, L.-L.; Yu, K.-K.; Wang, X.; Yu, X.-Q.* “A water-soluble and fast-response mitochondria-targeted fluorescent probe for colorimetric and ratiometric sensing of endogenously generated SO2 derivatives in living cells”, Chem. Commun.2016, 52, 3430-3433.

8.Chen, X.-L.; Chen, H.; Lu, C.-Y.; Yang, C.; Yu, X.-Q.; Li, K.*; Xie. Y.* “Novel mitochondria-targeted, nitrogen mustard-based DNA alkylation agents with near infrared fluorescence emission” Talanta, 2016, 161, 888-893.

9.Ran, Y.-Z.; Xu, H.-R.; Li, K.*; Yu, K.-K.; Yang, J.; Yu, X.-Q.* “Development of a mitochondria-targeted fluorescent probe for hydrazine monitoring in living cells” RSC Adv.2016, 6, 111016-111019.

10.Liao, Y.-X.; Yang, Z.-X.; Li, K.*; Yu, X.-Q.* “A highly selective ratiometric fluorescent probe for peroxynitrite detection in aqueous media” Chem. Lett.2016, 45(6), 691-693.

11.Wu, M.-Y.; Li, K.*; Liu, Y.-H.; Yu, K.-K.; Xie, Y.-M..; Yu, X.-Q.* “Mitochondria-targetedratiometric fluorescent probe for real time monitoring pH in living cells” Biomaterials2015, 53, 669-678.

12.Liu, Y.; Li, K.*; Wu, M.-Y.; Liu, Y. -H.; Xie, Y.; Yu, X.-Q.* “A Mitochondria-targeted Colorimetric and Ratiometric Fluorescent Probe for Biological SO2 Derivatives in Living Cells” Chem. Commun.2015, 51,10236-10239.

13.Hou, J.-T.; Li, K.*; Yang, J.; Yu, K.-K.; Liao, Y.-X.; Ran, Y.-Z.; Liu, Y.-H., Zhou, X. D.*; Yu, X.-Q.* “A ratiometric fluorescent probe for in situ quantification of basal mitochondrial hypochlorite in cancer cells.” Chem. Commun.2015, 51, 6781-6784.

14.Yu, K.-K; Hou, J.-T.; Li, K.*; Yao, Q.; Yang, J.; Wu, M.-Y, Xie, Y.-M.: Yu, X.-Q, * “A single design strategy for dual sensitive pH probe with a suitable range to map pH in living cells” Sci. Rep.2015, 5, 15540.

15.Jiao, S.-Y.; Li, K.*; Zhang, W.; Liu, Y.-H.; Huang, Z.; Yu, X.-Q.* “Cd(II)- terpyridine-based complex as a ratiometric fluorescent probe for pyrophosphate detection in solution and as an imaging agent in living cells.”Dalton Trans., 2015, 44, 1358-1365.

16.Jiao, S.-Y.; Li K.* Wang, X.; Huang, Z.; Pu, L.; Yu, X.-Q.* “Making pyrophosphate visible: the first precipitable and real-time fluorescent sensor for pyrophosphate in aqueous solution.” Analyst, 2015, 140, 174–181.

17.Hou, J.-T.; Yang, J.; Li, K.*; Yu, K.-K.; Yu, X.-Q.* “A colorimetric and red emissive fluorescent probe for cysteine and its application in bioimaging.” Sensor Actuat.B: Chem., 2015, 214, 92-100.

18.Liao, Y.-X.; Wang, M.-D.; Li, K,*; Yang, Z.-X.; Hou, J.-T.; Wu, M.-Y.; Liu, Y.-H.; Yu, X. Q.*“A highly sensitive and selective “turn-on” fluorescent probe for hypochlorous acid monitoring” RSC Adv., 2015, 5, 18275-18278.

19.Xu, H.-R.; Li, K.*; Jiao, S.-Y.; Pan, S.-L.; Zeng, J.-R.; Yu, X.-Q.* “Tetraphenylethene– pyridine salts as the first self-assembling chemosensor for pyrophosphate” Analyst, 2015, 140, 4182-4188.

20.Xu, H.-R.; Li, K.*; Jiao, S.-Y.; Li, L.-L.; Pan, S.-L.; Yu, X.-Q.* Tetraphenylethene based zinc complexes as fluorescent chemosensors for pyrophosphate sensing”, Chin. Chem. Lett.2015, 26, 877-880.

21.Xu, H.-R.; Li, K. *; Wang, M.-Q.; Wang, B.-L.; Wang, X.; Yu, X.-Q.* The dicyclen–TPE zinc complex as a novel fluorescent ensemble for nanomolar pyrophosphate sensing in 100% aqueous solution. Org. Chem. Front., 2014, 1, 1276–1279.

22.Hou, J.-T.; Yang, J.; Li, K.*; Liao, Y.-X.; Yu, K.-K.; Xie, Y.-M.; Yu, X.-Q.* “A highly selective water-soluble optical probe for endogenous peroxynitrite”. Chem. Commun. 2014, 50, 9947-9950.

23.Hou, J.-T.; Wu, M.-Y. Li, K.* Yang, J.; Yu, K.-K.; Xie, Y.-M.*; Yu, X.-Q.* “Mitochondria-targeted colorimetric and fluorescent probes for hypochlorite and their applications for in vivo imaging.” Chem. Commun. 2014, 50, 8640-8643.

24.Wu, M.-Y.; Li, K.*; Li, C.-Y.; Hou, J.-T.; Yu, X.-Q.*  “A Water-Soluble Near-Infrared Probe for Colorimetric and Ratiometric Sensing of SO2 Derivatives in Living Cells.” Chem. Commun. 2014,50, 183-185.

25.Yu, K.-K.; Li, K.* Hou, J.-T.; Yang, J.; Xie, Y.-M.*; Yu, X.-Q.* “Rhodamine based pH-sensitive “intelligent” polymer as lysosome targeting probes and their imaging application in vivo.”  Polym. Chem., 2014, 5(19), 5804-5812.

26.Yu, K.-K.; Li, K.* Hou, J.-T.; Qin, H.-H; Xie, Y.-M.; Qian, C.-H.; Yu, X.-Q.* “Rodamine-based lysosome-targeted fluorescence probes: high pH sensitivity and their imaging application in living cells”. RSC Adv., 2014, 4(64), 33975-33980.

27.Liao, Y.-X. Li, K.*, Wu, M.-Y.; Wu, T.; Yu, X.-Q.* A selenium-contained aggregation-induced “turnon” fluorescent probe for hydrogen peroxide Org. Biomol. Chem. 2014, 12, 3004-3008.

28.He, T.;Li, K.*; Wang, N.; Liao, Y.-X.; Wang, X.; Yu X.-Q * A ferrocene-based multiple- stimuli responsive organometallogel. Soft Matter. 2014, 10,3755-3761.

29.He, T.; Li, K.*; Wu, M.Y.; Liao, Y.-X.; Yu, X.-Q.* Visual detection of amino acids by supramolecular gel collapse. RSC Adv., 2014, 4, 2119-2123.

30.Hou, J.-T.; Li, K.* Yu, K.-K.; Ao, M.-Z.; Wang, X.; Yu, X.-Q.* Novel triazole-based fluorescent probes for Pd2+ in aqueous solutions: design, theoretical calculations and Imaging. Analyst, 2013, 138, 6632–6638

31.Wu, M.-Y.; He, T.; Li, K.*; Wu, M.-B.; Huang, Z.; Xie, Y.-M.*; Yu, X.-Q.* “A real-time colorimetric and ratiometric fluorescent probe for sulfite” Analyst2013, 138(10), 3018-3025.

32.Xu, H.-R.; Li, K.*; Liu, Q.; Wu, T.-M.; Wang, M.-Q.; Hou, J.-T.; Huang, Z.; Xie, Y.-M.*; Yu, X.-Q.* “Dianthracene-cyclen conjugate: the first equal-equivalent responding fluorescent chemosensor for Pb2+ in aqueous solution” Analyst2013, 138(8), 2329-2334.

33.Hou, J.-T.; Li, K.*; Yu, K.-K.; Wu, M.-Y.; Yu, X.-Q.* “Coumarin-DPA-Cu(II) as a chemosensing ensemble towards histidine determination in urine and serum” Org. Biomol. Chem. 2013, 11(5), 717-720.

34.Hou, J.-T.; Liu, B.-Y. ; Li K.* ; Yu K.-K.; Wu, M.-B.; Yu, X.-Q.* Two birds with one stone: Multifunctional and highly selective fluorescent probe for distinguishing Zn2+ from Cd2+ and selective recognition of sulfide anion. Talanta,2013,116, 434–440.

35.Jiao, S.-Y.; Peng, L.-L.;Li, K.*; Xie, Y.-M.; Ao, M.-Z.; Wang, X.*; Yu, X.-Q.*  A BINOL-based ratiometric fluorescent sensor for Zn2+ and in situ generated ensemble for selective recognition of histidine in aqueous solution. Analyst, 2013, 138, 5762-5768.

36.He, T.; Li, K.*; Wu, M.-Y.; Wu, M.-B.; Wang, N.; Pu, L.; Yu, X.-Q.* “Water promoted enantioselective aldol Reaction by proline-cholesterol and -diosgenin based amphiphilic organocatalysts” Tetrahedron 2013, 69(25), 5136-5143.

37.Li, K.; Xu, H.-R.; Yu, K.-K.; Hou, J.-T.; Yu, X.-Q.* “A coumarin-based chromogenic and ratiometric probe for hydrazine” Anal. Methods2013, 5, 2653-2656.

38.Hou, J.-T.; Li, K.*; Liu, B.-Y.; Liao, Y.-X.; Yu, X.-Q.* “The first ratiometric probe for lysine in water” Tetrahedron 2013, 69(9), 2118-2123.

39.Wang, M.-Q.; Li K.*; Xu, H.-R.; Yu X.-Q.* “Imidazolium-based 1,1′-bi-2-naphthol fluorescent probe for ratiometric and selective detection of DNA in water.” Anal. Methods2013, 5, 5903-5907

40.Yu, K.-K.; Li, K.*; Hou, J.-T.; Yu, X.-Q.* “Coumarin–TPA derivative: a reaction-based ratiometric fluorescent probe for Cu(I).” Tetrahedron Lett.2013, 54, 5771–5774

41.Wang, M.-Q.; Li K.*; Hou J.-T.;, Wu, M.-Y., Huang, Z.; Yu X.-Q.* “BINOL-Based Fluorescent Sensor for Recognition of Cu(II) and Sulfide Anion in Water” J. Org. Chem.2012, 77, 8350?8354.

42.Wu, M.-Y., Li, K.*; Hou, J.-T.; Huang, Z.; Yu, X.-Q.* “A selective colorimetric and ratiometric fluorescent probe for hydrogen sulfide” Org. Biomol. Chem. 2012, 10, 8342-8347.

43.Wu, M.-Y.; Li K.*; Wang, N.; He T.; Yu X.-Q.* A Novel Catalyst-Free Tandem Reaction for the Synthesis of 5-Hydroxy-1,5-dihydro-2H-pyrrol-2-ones in Water Medium (feature article). Synthesis2011, 12, 1831-1839.

44.Wu, M.-Y.; Wang, M.-Q.; Li K.*; Feng, X.-W.; He T.; Wang N.; Yu X.-Q.*, An Efficient, Transition-Metal-Free Process for the Synthesis of Substituted Dihydrofurans via a Michael/Cyclization Tandem Reaction. Tetrahedron Lett. 2011, 52, 679-683.

45.Wu, M.-Y.; Li, K.*; He, T.; Feng, X.-W.; Wang, N.; Wang, X.-Y.; Yu X.-Q.*, A Novel Enzymatic Tandem Process: Utilization of Biocatalytic Promiscuity for High Stereoselective Synthesis of Hydroxyimino-Substituted Dihydrofurans Derivatives. Tetrahedron 2011, 67, 2681-2688.

46.He, T., Li, K.*; Wu, M.-Y.; Feng, X.-W.; Wang, N., Wang, H.-Y.; Li, C.; Yu X.-Q.* Utilization of biocatalytic promiscuity for lipase-catalyzed direct Mannich reaction. J. Mol. Catal. B: Enzym.2010, 67, 189-194.

47.Chen, X.; Huang, Z.; Chen, S.-Y.;Li, K.; Yu X.-Q.*; Pu, L.*, Enantioselective Gel Collapsing: A New Means of Visual Chiral Sensing. J. Am. Chem. Soc.2010, 132, 7297–7299.

48.Liu, P.-Y.; Li, K.*; Zhang, J.; Zhang, D.-W.; Lin, H.-H.; Yu X.-Q.*, Who is the king? ‘β-OH-acraldehyde or catechol B ring’: Research on the relationship between the structure of quercetin derivatives and their pro-oxidative abilities. Chem. Biodiv.2010, 7, 236-244.

49.Li, K.; He T.; Li, C.; Feng, X.-W., Wang, N.; Yu X.-Q.*, Lipase-catalysed direct Mannich reaction in water: utilization of biocatalytic promiscuity to C-C bond formation in a “one-pot” synthesis. Green Chem.2009, 11, 777-779.

50.Li, K.; Zhang, J.; Zhang, Z.-W.; Xiang, Y.-Z.; Lin, H.-H.; Yu X.-Q.*, Immobilization Cyclen Copper (II) on Merrifield Resin:Efficient Oxidative Cleavage of Plasmid DNA. J. Appl. Polym. Sci.2009, 111. 2485–2492.

51.Li, K.; Zhou, L.-H.; Zhang, J.; Chen, S.-Y.; Zhang, Z.-W.; Zhang, J.-J.; Lin, H.-H.; Yu X.-Q.*, ‘‘Self-activating’’ chemical nuclease: Ferrocenyl cyclen Cu(II) complexes act as efficient DNA cleavage reagents in the absence of reductant. Eur. J. Med. Chem.2009, 44, 1768-1772.

52.Li, K.; Wang, N.; Yang, F.; Zhang, Z.-W.; Zhou, L.-H.; Chen, S.-Y; Lin, H.-H; Tian, Y.-F.; Yu, X.-Q.*, Cyclen-based side-chain homopolymer self-assembly with plasmid DNA: Protection of DNA from enzymatic degradation. Chem. Biodiv.2009, 6, 754-763.