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Issue 7, 2016
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Photonic crystal protein hydrogel sensor materials enabled by conformationally induced volume phase transition

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Abstract

Hydrogels that change volume in response to specific molecular stimuli can serve as platforms for sensors, actuators and drug delivery devices. There is great interest in designing intelligent hydrogels for tissue engineering, drug delivery, and microfluidics that utilize protein binding specificities and conformational changes. Protein conformational change induced by ligand binding can cause volume phase transitions (VPTs). Here, we develop a highly selective glucose sensing protein photonic crystal (PC) hydrogel that is fabricated from genetically engineered E. coli glucose/galactose binding protein (GGBP). The resulting 2-D PC-GGBP hydrogel undergoes a VPT in response to glucose. The volume change causes the 2-D PC array particle spacing to decrease, leading to a blue-shifted diffraction which enables our sensors to report on glucose concentrations. This 2-D PC-GGBP responsive hydrogel functions as a selective and sensitive sensor that easily monitors glucose concentrations from ∼0.2 μM to ∼10 mM. This work demonstrates a proof-of-concept for developing responsive, “smart” protein hydrogel materials with VPTs that utilize ligand binding induced protein conformational changes. This innovation may enable the development of other novel chemical sensors and high-throughput screening devices that can monitor protein–drug binding interactions.

Graphical abstract: Photonic crystal protein hydrogel sensor materials enabled by conformationally induced volume phase transition

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 Feb 2016, accepted on 23 Mar 2016 and first published on 24 Mar 2016


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C6SC00682E
Chem. Sci., 2016,7, 4557-4562
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
    All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

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    Photonic crystal protein hydrogel sensor materials enabled by conformationally induced volume phase transition

    Z. Cai, L. A. Luck, D. Punihaole, J. D. Madura and S. A. Asher, Chem. Sci., 2016, 7, 4557
    DOI: 10.1039/C6SC00682E

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      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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