POLY 385-interfacing LCDs and bioresponsive hydrogels

Birchall, Louise S. and Ulijn, Rein V. and Webb, Simon J. (2009) POLY 385-interfacing LCDs and bioresponsive hydrogels. Abstracts of papers - American Chemical Society, 238. ISSN 0065-7727

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We report the use of enzyme-responsive peptide hydrogels interfaced with LCD detection to give robust, power-free, portable and inexpensive sensing of proteases. In this approach hydrogel building blocks are contained within a sensor chamber. Addition of a protease results in cleavage of the hydrogel components producing Fmoc-peptide fragments which no longer self-assemble. Gel to solution transitions trigger an LCD response which can be visualised by placing the chamber between crossed polarisers: bright to dark transitions in the LC brightness indicate a positive optical response. Presented are our results for three systems where enzymatic hydrolysis of hydrogels could be followed by optical microscopy. A decrease in transmission was quantified via pixel counting and extent of hydrolysis followed by HPLC. Gel to solution transitions were monitored independently by fluorescence spectroscopy and imaged by AFM