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Issue 4, 2019
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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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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
04 Sep 2018
Accepted
07 Nov 2018
First published
08 Nov 2018

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2019,10, 1017-1022
Article type
Edge Article

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, 10, 1017
DOI: 10.1039/C8SC03938K

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