(Invited) Synthetic Protein Recognition Using Fluorescent Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

Thursday, 1 June 2017: 09:00
Churchill A2 (Hilton New Orleans Riverside)
G. Bisker and M. S. Strano (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
The ability to specifically and selectively recognize, detect, and monitor molecules of interest is essential for many biomedical applications, and is a crucial element in innumerable biological and chemical processes. Recently, a new concept for generating synthetic recognition sites was introduced, namely, Corona Phase Molecular Recognition (CoPhMoRe). In this approach, a heteropolymer is adsorbed onto the surface of an optically active nanoparticle, forming a structured 3-dimensional corona around it, such that it can selectively and specifically recognize a target molecule. The adsorbed polymer does not necessarily have any affinity towards the target analyte, but rather its pinned configuration when folded onto the particle scaffold forms a recognition site. This generic scheme has been demonstrated using fluorescent single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) as the underlying nanoparticles for optical signal transduction, monitoring spectral response of their fluorescence emission to reveal analyte adsorption onto the SWCNT corona. Initial demonstrations of SWCNT based CoPhMoRe include corona phases selective towards small molecules. In this talk, I will describe the first protein-targeted CoPhMoRe, where a phospholipid-PEG corona is shown to render the SWCNT a sensor for fibrinogen, the building block of blood clots. The fibrinogen recognition also occurs in serum environment, at the clinically relevant fibrinogen concentrations in the human blood. These results open new avenues for synthetic, non-biological antibody analogues that recognize biological macromolecules, and hold great promise for medical and clinical applications.