Dr. Pengfei Zhang is an  Associate Professor at Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, CAS. Gaining her PhD degree in Bioengineering in 2018 under the supervision of Prof Ben Zhong Tang at HKUST, Zhang is recognised for his innovative cross-disciplinary research in the area of point-of-care diagnostics, biomedical imaging and drug delivery . He conducted his research at SIAT from 2009 since he got his Master degree from Hunan University. 

Research Areas

Fluorescent probe,


Drug delivery system,


Point-of-care technologies


Dr. Zhang received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Hunan University in Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry. He completed his PhD in Bioengineering at HKUST in 2018.  


Zhang’s research career has started in SIAT since he got Master degree from Hunan University in 2009. He was promoted as Asistant Professor since 2011. He went to HKUST for his PhD study in 2015 and got PhD degree in 2018. He came back to SIAT as Associate Professor in 2018. During the period in Hong Kong, he also serve as Teaching Assistant in Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.


1. Lihua Zhou, Yayun Wu, Yuan Luo, Hongfeng Li, Xiaoqing Meng, Chuangjun Liu, Jingjing Xiang, Pengfei Zhang,* Ping Gong,* Lintao Cai* "Mitochondria-Localized Self-Reporting Small-Molecule-Decorated Theranostic Agents for Cancer-Organelle Transporting and Imaging" ACS Appl. Bio Mater. 2019, Advance Article 

2. Jianguo Wang, Chunbin Li, Qingqing Chen, Hongfeng Li, Lihua Zhou, Xing Jiang, Mengxue Shi, Pengfei Zhang,* Guoyu Jiang,* Ben Zhong Tang* "An Easily Available Ratiometric Reaction-Based AIE Probe for Carbon Monoxide Light-up Imaging" Analytical Chemistry, 2019, 91, 15, 9388-9392 

3. Tao Jiang, Lihua Zhou, Haixiang Liu, Pengfei Zhang,* Guozhen Liu, Ping Gong, Chunbin Li, Weihong Tan, Jianhai Chen,* Lintao Cai* "Monitorable Mitochondria-Targeting DNAtrain for Image-Guided Synergistic Cancer Therapy" Analytical Chemistry, 2019, 91, 11, 6996-7000 

4. Jiazheng Lai, Guanjun Deng, Zhihong Sun, Xinghua Peng, Jing Li, Ping Gong,* Pengfei Zhang,* Lintao Cai* "Scaffolds biomimicking macrophages for a glioblastoma NIR-Ib imaging guided photothermal therapeutic strategy by crossing Blood-Brain Barrier" Biomaterials, 2019, 211, 48-56

5. Zhe Jiao, Jianjun Lu, Hongbo Fan*, Miao Zhao, Dianming Zhou, Xiaolei Ruan, Pengfei Zhang*, Faliang Cheng, Benzhong Tang* "On-site visual discrimination of transgenic food by water-soluble DNA-binding AIEgens" Mater. Chem. Front., 2019, Advance Article 

6. Yayun Wu,+ Zhizhen Chen,+ Pengfei Zhang, * Lihua Zhou, Tao Jiang, Huajie Chen, Ping Gong, Dimiter S. Dimitrov, Lintao Cai* and Qi Zhao* "Recombinant-fully-human-antibody decorated highly-stable far-red AIEdots for in vivo HER-2 receptor-targeted imaging" Chemical Communications, 2018, 54, 7314-7317 

7. Yayun Wu, Duyang Gao, Pengfei Zhang*, Chuansheng Li, Qian Wan, Chi Chen, Ping Gong, Guanhui Gao, Zonghai Sheng and Lintao Cai*. " Iron oxide nanoparticles protected by NIR-active multidentate-polymers as multifunctional nanoprobes for NIRF/PA/MR trimodal imaging " Nanoscale, 2016,8(2), 775-779 

8. Shuhui Liu, Pengfei Zhang*, Hong Pan, Duyang Gao, Chi Chen, Mingbin Zheng, Zonghai Sheng, Ping Gong, Guanhui Gao, Hanzhong Wang, Yifan Ma, Lintao Cai. " QDs-virus bioconjugate as potential gene-drug co-delivery system for synergistic tumor therapy". Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, 2016, 12(2), 544 

9. Yayun Wu, Duyang Gao, Pengfei Zhang*, Chi Chen, Zonghai Sheng, Dehong Hu, Mingbin Zheng, Ping Gong, Chuansheng Li, Guanhui Gao, Lintao Cai. " Theranostic iron oxide nanoparticles protected by NIR-emitting multidentate-ligands for multimodal imaging-guided photothermal therapy". Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, 2016, 12(2), 567  

10. Jing Jia, Pengfei Zhang*, Duyang Gao, Zonghai Sheng, Dehong Hu, Ping Gong, Chunlei Wu, Jianhai Chen* and Lintao Cai*. "One-step synthesis of peptide-programmed QDs as ready-to-use nanoprobes " Chemical Communications, 2013, 49(40), 4492-4494 

11. Pengfei Zhang, Shuhui Liu, Duyang Gao, Dehong Hu, Ping Gong, Zonghai Sheng, Jizhe Deng, Yifan Ma, and Lintao Cai. " Click-Functionalized Compact Quantum Dots Protected by Multidentate-Imidazole Ligands: Conjugation-Ready Nanotags for Living-Virus Labeling and Imaging " Journal of the American Chemical Society,2012, 134 (20), 8388-8391 

12. Pengfei Zhang, Zheng Zhao, Chuansheng Li, Huifang Su, Yayun Wu, Ryan T. K. Kwok, Jacky Wing Yip Lam, Ping Gong, Lintao Cai*, and Ben Zhong Tang*. "Aptamer-Decorated Self-Assembled Aggregation-Induced Emission Organic Dots for Cancer Cell Targeting and Imaging" Analytical Chemistry, 2018, 90 (2), 1063–1067 

13. Pengfei Zhang, Hong Pan, Duyang Gao, Chi Chen, Wenjun Li, Yayun Wu, Dehong Hu, Chuansheng Li, Ping Gong, Zonghai Sheng, Guanhui Gao, Yifan Ma, Lintao Cai. "Bioorthogonal multifunctional nanoprobes for biomedicine and theranostic applications" Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, 2016, 12(2), 486 

14. Jen-Shyang Ni, + Pengfei Zhang, + Tao Jiang, Yuncong Chen, Huifang Su, Dong Wang, Zhen-Qiang Yu, Ryan T. K. Kwok, Zujin Zhao, Jacky W. Y. Lam and Ben Zhong Tang* " Red/NIR-Emissive Benzo[d]imidazole-Cored AIEgens: Facile Molecular Design for Wavelength Extending and In Vivo Tumor Metabolic Imaging " Advanced Materials, 2018, 30, 1805220

15. Hong Pan+, Pengfei Zhang+, Duyang Gao, Yijuan Zhang, Ping Li, Lanlan Liu, Ce Wang, Hanzhong Wang, Yifan Ma, and Lintao Cai. " Noninvasive Visualization of Respiratory Viral Infection Using Bioorthogonal Conjugated Near-Infrared-Emitting Quantum Dots" ACS Nano, 2014, 8 (6), 5468–5477 

16. Duyang Gao+, Pengfei Zhang+, Zonghai Sheng, Dehong Hu, Ping Gong, Chi Chen, Qian Wan, Guanhui Gao and Lintao Cai. " Highly Bright and Compact Alloyed Quantum Rods with Near Infrared Emitting: a Potential Multifunctional Nanoplatform for Multimodal Imaging In Vivo " Advanced Functional Materials, 2014, 24(25), 3897–3905 

17. Chi Chen+, Pengfei Zhang+, Guanhui Gao, Duyang Gao, Yong Yang, Hong Liu, Yuhui Wang, Ping Gong and Lintao Cai. " Near-Infrared-Emitting Two-Dimensional Codes Based on Lattice-Strained Core/(Doped) Shell Quantum Dots with Long Fluorescence Lifetime " Advanced Materials, 2014, 26(36), 6313–6317 

18. Wei Qin+, Pengfei Zhang+, Hui Li+, Jacky W. Y. Lam, Yuanjing Cai, Ryan T. K. Kwok, Jun Qian, Wei Zheng and Ben Zhong Tang. "Ultrabright red AIEgens for two-photon vascular imaging with high resolution and deep penetration" Chemical Science, 2018, In Press  

19. Chi Chen+, Pengfei Zhang+, Li Zhang, Duyang Gao, Guanhui Gao, Yong Yang, Wenjun Li, Ping Gong and Lintao Cai. "Long-decay near-infrared-emitting doped quantum dots for lifetime-based in vivo pH imaging" Chemical Communications, 2015, 51(56), 11162-11165 

20. Dehong Hu+, Pengfei Zhang+, Ping Gong, Shuhong Lian, Yangyang Lu, Duyang Gao and Lintao Cai. " A fast synthesis of near-infrared emitting CdTe/CdSe quantum dots with small hydrodynamic diameter for in vivo imaging probes " Nanoscale, 2011,3(11), 4724-4732 

21. Jianbo Liu+, Pengfei Zhang+, Xiaohai Yang, Kemin Wang, Qiuping Guo, Jin Huang and Wei Li. "Aptamer-mediated indirect quantum dot labeling and fluorescent imaging of target proteins in living cells" Nanotechnology, 2014, 25(50) 505502 

22. Duyang Gao+, Pengfei Zhang+, Chengbo Liu+, Chi Chen, Guanhui Gao, Yayun Wu, Zonghai Sheng, Liang Song and Lintao Cai. " Compact chelator-free Ni-integrated CuS nanoparticles with tunable near-infrared absorption and enhanced relaxivity for in vivo dual-modal photoacoustic/MR imaging " Nanoscale, 2015,7(42), 17631-17636 

23. Shuhong Lian+, Pengfei Zhang+, Ping Gong, Dehong Hu, Bihua Shi, Changchun Zeng, and Lintao Cai. " A Universal Quantum Dots-Aptamer Probe for Efficient Cancer Detection and Targeted Imaging" Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 2012, 12(10), 7703-7708 

24. Duyang Gao, + Pengfei Zhang, + Yubin Liu, + Zonghai Sheng, Huajie Chen,* and Zhen Yuan* "Protein-modified conjugated polymer nanoparticles with strong near-infrared absorption: a novel nanoplatform to design multifunctional nanoprobes for dual-modal photoacoustic and fluorescence imaging" Nanoscale, 2018,10, 19742-19748

25. Jianguo Wang, Xinggui Gu, Pengfei Zhang, Xiaobo Huang, Xiaoyan Zheng, Ming Chen, Haitao Feng, Ryan T. K. Kwok, Jacky W. Y. Lam, and Ben Zhong Tang. "Ionization and Anion−π+ Interaction: A New Strategy for Structural Design of Aggregation-Induced Emission Luminogens ". J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2017, 139 (46), 16974–16979 

26. Mingbin Zheng, Caixia Yue, Yifan Ma, Ping Gong, Pengfei Zhao, Cuifang Zheng, Zonghai Sheng, Pengfei Zhang, Zhaohui Wang, and Lintao Cai. "Single-Step Assembly of DOX/ICG Loaded Lipid–Polymer Nanoparticles for Highly Effective Chemo-photothermal Combination Therapy" ACS Nano, 2013, 7 (3),  2056–2067 

27. Zonghai Sheng, Dehong Hu, Mingbin Zheng, Pengfei Zhao, Huilong Liu, Duyang Gao, Ping Gong, Guanhui Gao, Pengfei Zhang, Yifan Ma, and Lintao Cai. "Smart Human Serum Albumin-Indocyanine Green Nanoparticles Generated by Programmed Assembly for Dual-Modal Imaging-Guided Cancer Synergistic Phototherapy" ACS Nano, 2014, 8 (12), 12310–12322 

28. Zonghai Sheng, Liang Song, Jiaxiang Zheng, Dehong Hu, Meng He, Mingbin Zheng, Guanhui Gao, Ping Gong, Pengfei Zhang, Yifan Ma, Lintao Cai. " Protein-assisted fabrication of nano-reduced graphene oxide for combined in vivo photoacoustic imaging and photothermal therapy " Biomaterials, 2013, 34(21), 5236-5243 

29. Cuifang Zheng, Mingbin Zheng, Ping Gong, Jizhe Deng, Huqiang Yi, Pengfei Zhang, Yijuan Zhang, Peng Liu, Yifan Ma, Lintao Cai. "Polypeptide cationic micelles mediated co-delivery of docetaxel and siRNA for synergistic tumor therapy" Biomaterials, 2013, 34(13), 3431-3438 

30. Ping Gong, Bihua Shi, Mingbin Zheng, Bi Wang, Pengfei Zhang, Dehong Hu, Duyang Gao, Zonghai Sheng, Cuifang Zheng, Yifan Ma, Lintao Cai. " PEI protected aptamer molecular probes for contrast-enhanced in vivo cancer imaging " Biomaterials, 2012, 33(31), 7810-7817 

31. Cuifang Zheng, Mingbin Zheng, Ping Gong, Dongxue Jia, Pengfei Zhang, Bihua Shi, Zonghai Sheng, Yifan Ma, Lintao Cai. " Indocyanine green-loaded biodegradable tumor targeting nanoprobes for in vitro and in vivo imaging " Biomaterials, 2012, 33(22), 5603-5609 

32. Dehong Hu, Zonghai Sheng, Shengtao Fang, Yanan Wang, Duyang Gao, Pengfei Zhang, Ping Gong, Yifan Ma, and Lintao Cai. "Folate Receptor-Targeting Gold Nanoclusters as Fluorescence Enzyme Mimetic Nanoprobes for Tumor Molecular Colocalization Diagnosis", Theranostics, 2014, 4(2), 142–153 

33. Yuhui Wang, Duyang Gao, Pengfei Zhang, Ping Gong, Chi Chen, Guanhui Gao, Lintao Cai. "Near infrared fluorescence resonance energy transfer based aptamer biosensor for insulin detection in human plasma" Chemical Communications, 2014, 50, 811-813 

34. Zonghai Sheng, Dehong Hu, Pengfei Zhang, Ping Gong, Duyang Gao, Shuhui Liu and Lintao Cai. " Cation exchange in aptamer-conjugated CdSe nanoclusters: a novel fluorescence signal amplification for cancer cell detection " Chemical Communications, 2012, 48(35), 4202-4204 

35. Jianbo Liu, Xiaohai Yang, Kemin Wang, Dong Wang and Pengfei Zhang. " Chemical etching with tetrafluoroborate: a facile method for resizing of CdTe nanocrystals under mild conditions " Chemical Communications, 2009, (40), 6080-6082 

36. Mian Chen, Feiyan Cai, Chen Wang, Zhiyong Wang, Long Meng, Fei Li, Pengfei Zhang, Xin Liu, Hairong Zheng. "Observation of Metal Nanoparticles for Acoustic Manipulation". Advanced Science, 2017, 4(5), 1600447 

37. Yijuan Zhang, Hong Pan, Pengfei Zhang, Ningning Gao, Yi Lin, Zichao Luo, Ping Li, Ce Wang, Lanlan Liu, Daiwen Pang, Lintao Cai and Yifan Ma. " Functionalized quantum dots induce proinflammatory responses in vitro: the role of terminal functional group-associated endocytic pathways" Nanoscale, 2013, 5(13), 5919-5929 

38. De-Hong Hu, Zong-Hai Sheng, Peng-Fei Zhang, Da-Zhi Yang, Shu-Hui Liu, Ping Gong, Du-Yang Gao, Sheng-Tao Fang, Yi-Fan Ma and Lin-Tao Cai. "Hybrid gold–gadolinium nanoclusters for tumor-targeted NIRF/CT/MRI triple-modal imaging in vivo" Nanoscale, 2013,5(4), 1624-1628 

39. Ping Gong, Bihua Shi, Pengfei Zhang, Dehong Hu, Mingbin Zheng, Cuifang Zheng, Duyang Gao and Lintao Cai. " DNase-activatable fluorescence probes visualizing the degradation of exogenous DNA in living cells " Nanoscale, 2012,4(7), 2454-2462 

40. Mingbin Zheng, Pengfei Zhao, Zhenyu Luo, Ping Gong, Cuifang Zheng, Pengfei Zhang, Caixia Yue, Duyang Gao, Yifan Ma, and Lintao Cai. " Robust ICG Theranostic Nanoparticles for Folate Targeted Cancer Imaging and Highly Effective Photothermal Therapy "ACS Appl. Mater.& Interfaces, 2014, 6 (9), 6709–6716

41. Zhengbo Sun, Wenlu Zhang, Pengfei Zhang, Duyang Gao, Ping Gong, Xue-Feng Yu, Yingliang Wu, Zhijian Cao, Wenxin Li and Lintao Cai. "Neurotoxin-directed synthesis and in vitro evaluation of Au nanoclusters" RSC Advances, 2015,5(38), 29647-29652 

42. Duyang Gao, Pengfei Zhang, Jing Jia, Mingxing Li, Zonghai Sheng, Dehong Hu, Ping Gong, Qian Wan and Lintao Cai. "Ultrasmall paramagnetic near infrared quantum dots as dual modal nanoprobes" RSC Advances, 2013,3(44), 21247-21250 

43. Guanjun Deng, Ting Zhu, Lihua Zhou, Jingnan Zhang, Sanpeng Li, Zhihong Sun, Jiazheng Lai, Xiaoqing Meng, Wenjun Li, Pengfei Zhang, Yayun Wu, Tao Jiang, Dapeng Ni, Weiqiang Yan, Mingbin Zheng, Ping Gong* and  Lintao Cai* "Bovine serum albumin-loaded nano-selenium/ICG nanoparticles for highly effective chemo-photothermal combination therapy ".  RSC Adv., 2017,7(49), 30717-30724 

44. Dehong Hu, Zonghai Sheng, Ping Gong, Pengfei Zhang and Lintao Cai. " Highly selective fluorescent sensors for Hg2+ based on bovine serum albumin-capped gold nanoclusters " Analyst, 2010,135(6), 1411-1416 

45. Jianbo Liu, Xiaohai Yang, Kemin Wang, Yan He, Pengfei Zhang, Haining Ji, Lixin Jian, and Wei Liu. " Single Nanoparticle Imaging and Characterization of Different Phospholipid-Encapsulated Quantum Dot Micelles" Langmuir, 2012, 28 (28), 10602–10609 

46. Xiaoxiao He, Hailong Nie, Kemin Wang, Weihong Tan, Xu Wu, and Pengfei Zhang. " In Vivo Study of Biodistribution and Urinary Excretion of Surface-Modified Silica Nanoparticles " Analytical Chemistry, 2008, 80 (24), 9597-9603

47. Shuhong Lian, Dehong Hu, Changchun Zeng, Pengfei Zhang, Songhao Liu and Lintao Cai. "Highly luminescent near-infrared emitting gold nanoclusters with further natural etching : photoluminescence and Hg2+ detection" Nanoscale Research Letters, 2012, 7:348

48. Heping Shi, Dehua Xin, Xinggui Gu, Pengfei Zhang, Huiren Peng, Shuming Chen, Gengwei Lin, Zujin Zhao and Ben Zhong Tang. " The synthesis of novel AIE emitters with the triphenylethene-carbazole skeleton and para-/meta-substituted arylboron groups and their application in efficient non-doped OLEDs " Journal of Materials Chemistry C, 2016,4(6), 1228-1237 

49. Zheng Zhao, Huifang Su, Pengfei Zhang, Yuanjing Cai, Ryan T. K. Kwok, Yuncong Chen, Zikai He, Xinggui Gu, Xuewen He, Herman H. Y. Sung, Ian D. Willimas, Jacky W. Y. Lam, Zhenfeng Zhang and Ben Zhong Tang. "Polyyne bridged AIE luminogens with red emission: design, synthesis, properties and applications". J. Mater. Chem. B, 2017,5(8), 1650-1657 

50. Lintao Cai, Yifan Ma, Jizhe Deng, Ningning Gao, Pengfei Zhang, Cuifang Zheng. "Nanomedicine for targeted cancer imaging and therapy" Journal of Controlled Release, 2013, 172(1), e53 

51. GONG Ping, YANG YueTing, SHI BiHua, ZHANG PengFei, ZHENG MingBin, HU DeHong, GAO DuYang, SHENG ZongHai, ZHENG CuiFang, LIU Peng, WANG Bi, CAI LinTao. "Progress of the nano probes for molecular imaging". Chinese Science Bulletin, 2013, 58(9), 762-776

52. Zexuan Ding, Peng Liu, Huqiang Yi, Yayun Wu, Pengfei Zhang, Lintao Cai. "Multifunctional theranostic nanoparticles for dual-modality imaging and magnetic targeted photodynamic therapy" Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, 2016, 12(2), 527 

53. Cuifang Zheng, Huqiang Yi, Shengtao Fang, Guolin Li, Ping Gong, Mingbin Zheng, Pengfei Zhang, Lintao Cai. " Polypeptide micelles delivered suicide gene effectively inhibited hepatoma cancer cells proliferation" Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, 2016, 12(2), 540 

54. Wenjun Li, Zhengyin Pan, Cuifang Zheng, Peng Liu, Pengfei Zhang, Lintao Cai. " Tumor-targeting and hyaluronidase activatable nanoparticles for tumor tracer and photochemistry therapy". Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, 2016, 12(2), 569 

55. Ping Gong, Yueting Yang, Huqiang Yi, Shengtao Fang, Pengfei Zhang, Zonghai Sheng, Guanhui Gao, Duyang Gao and Lintao Cai. "Polypeptide micelles with dual pH activatable dyes for sensing cells and cancer imaging" Nanoscale, 2014,6 (38), 5416-5424 

56. Zheng Zhao, Simin Gao, Xiaoyan Zheng, Pengfei Zhang, Wenting Wu, Ryan T. K. Kwok, Yu Xiong, Nelson L. C. Leung, Yuncong Chen, Xike Gao, Jacky W. Y. Lam, Ben Zhong Tang. "Rational Design of Perylenediimide-Substituted Triphenylethylene to Electron Transporting Aggregation-Induced Emission Luminogens (AIEgens) with High Mobility and Near-Infrared Emission". Advanced Functional Materials, 2018, 28, 11, 1705609

Research Interests

Aggregation Induced Emission;


NIR-II fluorescence;

Biosensor and biodetection;

Supper-resolution Imaging.