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Fluorogenic atom transfer radical polymerization in aqueous media as a strategy for detection

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Abstract

The development of novel approaches to signal amplification in aqueous media could enable new diagnostic platforms for the detection of water-soluble analytes, including biomolecules. This paper describes a fluorogenic polymerization approach to amplify initiator signal by the detection of visible fluorescence upon polymerization in real-time. Fluorogenic monomers were synthesized and co-polymerized by atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) in water to reveal increasing polymer fluorescence as a function of both reaction time and initiator concentration. Optimization of the fluorogenic ATRP reaction conditions allowed for the quantitative detection of a small-molecule initiator as a model analyte over a broad linear concentration range (pM to mM). Raising the reaction temperature from 30 °C to 60 °C facilitated sensitive initiator detection at sub-picomolar concentrations in as little as 1 h of polymerization. This method was then applied to the detection of streptavidin as a model biological analyte by fluorogenic polymerization from a designed biotinylated ATRP initiator. Taken together, these studies represent the first example of a fluorogenic ATRP reaction and establish fluorogenic polymerization as a promising approach for the direct detection of aqueous analytes and biomolecular recognition events.

Graphical abstract: Fluorogenic atom transfer radical polymerization in aqueous media as a strategy for detection

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Publication details

The article was received on 04 Sep 2018, accepted on 07 Nov 2018 and first published on 08 Nov 2018


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C8SC03938K
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2019, Advance Article
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    Fluorogenic atom transfer radical polymerization in aqueous media as a strategy for detection

    Z. T. Allen, J. R. Sackey-Addo, M. P. Hopps, D. Tahseen, J. T. Anderson, T. A. Graf and C. B. Cooley, Chem. Sci., 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8SC03938K

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