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Engineering Molecular Recognition with Bio-mimetic Polymers on Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes.

J Vis Exp. 2017 Jan 10;(119):

Authors: Del Bonis-O’Donnell JT, Beyene A, Chio L, Demirer G, Yang D, Landry MP

Semiconducting single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are a class of optically active nanomaterial that fluoresce in the near infrared, coinciding with the optical window where biological samples are most transparent. Here, we outline techniques to adsorb amphiphilic polymers and polynucleic acids onto the surface of SWNTs to engineer their corona phases and create novel molecular sensors for small molecules and proteins. These functionalized SWNT sensors are both biocompatible and stable. Polymers are adsorbed onto the nanotube surface either by direct sonication of SWNTs and polymer or by suspending SWNTs using a surfactant followed by dialysis with polymer. The fluorescence emission, stability, and response of these sensors to target analytes are confirmed using absorbance and near-infrared fluorescence spectroscopy. Furthermore, we demonstrate surface immobilization of the sensors onto glass slides to enable single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to characterize polymer adsorption and analyte binding kinetics.

PMID: 28117777 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]