A facile biofunctionalisation route for solution processable conducting polymer devices†
For the majority of biosensors or biomedical devices, immobilization of the biorecognition element is a critical step for device function. To achieve longer lifetime devices and controllable functionalization, covalent immobilisation techniques are preferred over passive adhesion and electrostatic interactions. The rapidly emerging field of organic bioelectronics uses conducting polymers (or small molecules) as the active materials for transduction of the biological signal to an electronic one. While a number of techniques have been utilized to entrap or functionalize conducting polymers deposited by electro- or vapor phase polymerization, covalent functionalization of solution processed films, essential for realizing low cost or high throughput fabrication, has not been thoroughly investigated. In this study we show a versatile biofunctionalization technique for the solution processable conducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) doped with poly(styrenesulfonate) PEDOT:PSS, which is a commercially available material, and has a record high conductivity. Addition of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) into the solution with PEDOT:PSS provides a handle for subsequent silanization with a well-characterised silane reagent, allowing for covalent linkage of biological moieties onto PEDOT:PSS films. We show homogenous and large-scale biofunctionalization with polypeptides and proteins, as well as maintenance of the biological functionalities of the proteins. In addition, no deleterious effects are noted on the electronic or ionic transport properties of the conducting polymer films due to incorporation of the PVA.
- This article is part of the themed collections: Emerging Investigators and JMC B Top Picks web collection: Seeing the unseen: Advances in bioimaging and biosensors