Poly(4-vinylpyridine) swollen in pyridine displays changes in electrical conductivity in response to white light and to low level thermal perturbation; protonation of the side-chain nitrogen is believed to play a role. Here we present spectroscopic evidence that the proton donor is the methyne group CH on the polymer chain.
In this contribution we describe the formation of gold nanoparticles (AuNP) and polyaniline (PANI) AuNP-PANI nanocomposite via in-situ enzymatic polymerization. The method consists of electrostatic adsorption of anilinium monomers on AuNPs citrate stabilized surface of 50 nm diameters, followed by oxidation with horseradish peroxidase (HRP) enzyme and its cofactor H2O2. All reaction steps were monitored by UV-Vis-NIR spectroscopy including in-situ detection of the polymerization process. UV-Vis-NIR, Cyclic voltammetry (CV) and surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) measurements supported the formation of a nanoshell of PANI on the AuNP core. Two templates for anilinium assembly were compared revealing a strong dependence of the enzymatic kinetics on the template. The kinetic study had shown that the rigid template of the AuNP contributes to higher reaction rate on the AuNP compared with the more flexible polyanion template. The mild reaction’ condition enables an easy and precise method for obtaining PANI nano-shell on anionic templates for advanced bioelectronic applications.
An electrochemical biosensor has been developed for ultrasensitive, label-free determination of protein kinase activity. The sensor is composed of a unique peptide monolayer on a gold electrode. It identifies the order change in the monolayer upon phosphorylation, via square wave voltametry (SWV) measurements. Disorder caused by the introduction of the phosphate groups onto the middle of the peptide sequence results in pinhole formation and therefore an increase in the electrochemical signal. The measured sensitivity was 100 nM of kinase and the dynamic range was 100 nM up to 11 μM. Sensitivity was an order of magnitude higher, and the dynamic range wider by two orders of magnitude, as compared to our previously reported impedimetric method, in which the sensitivity was 1 μM, and the dynamic range was 1-20 μM.
We present an integrated approach for highly sensitive identification and validation of substrate-specific kinases as cancer biomarkers. Our approach combines phosphoproteomics for high throughput cancer-related biomarker discovery from patient tissues and an impedimetric kinase activity biosensor for sensitive validation. Using non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) as a proof-of-concept study, label-free quantitative phosphoproteomic analysis of a pair of cancerous and its adjacent normal tissues revealed 198 phosphoproteins that are over-phosphorylated in NSCLC. Among the differentially regulated phosphorylation sites, the most significant alteration was in residue S165 in the Hepatoma Derived Growth Factor (HDGF) protein. Hence, HDGF was selected as a model system for the electrochemical studies. Further motif-based analysis of this altered phosphorylation site revealed that extracellular-signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) are most likely to be the corresponding kinases. For validation of the kinase–substrate pair, densely packed peptide monolayers corresponding to the HDGF phosphorylation site were coupled to a gold electrode. Phosphorylation of the monolayer by ERK2 and dephosphorylation by alkaline phosphatase (AP) were detected by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and surface roughness analysis. Compared to other methods for quantification of kinase concentration, this label-free electrochemical assay offers the advantages of ultra-sensitivity as well as higher specificity for the detection of cancer-related kinase–substrate pair. With implementation of multiple kinase–substrate biomarker pairs, we expect this integrated approach to become a high throughput platform for discovery and validation of phosphorylation-mediated biomarkers.
Functionalized nanoparticle networks offer a model system for the study of charge transport in low-dimensional systems as well as a potential platform to implement and test electronic functionalities. The electrical response of a nanoparticle network is expected to sensitively depend on the molecular inter-connects, i.e. on the linker chemistry. If these linkers have complex charge transport properties, then phenomenological models addressing the large scale properties of the network need to be complemented with microscopic calculations of the network building blocks. In this study we focus on the interplay between conformational fluctuations and electronic $π$-stacking in single molecule junctions and use the obtained microscopic information on their electrical transport properties to parametrize transition rates describing charge diffusion in mesoscopic nanoparticle networks. Our results point out at the strong influence of mechanical degrees of freedom on the electronic transport signatures of the studied molecules. This is then reflected in the varying charge diffusion at the network level. The modeling studies are complemented with first charge transport measurements at the single-molecule level of $π$-stacked molecular dimers using state of the art mechanically controllable break junction techniques in a liquid environment.
We report on the fabrication and characterization of porous-silicon/conjugated-polymer hybrids, created by combining a host columnar matrix of mesoporous silicon and a network of organic nanowires made from poly(N-vinylcarbazole) (PVK). A uniform and homogeneous filling of the pores by the polymers was accomplished by electrochemical polymerization of organic monomers inside the pores by using cyclic voltammetry. Spectroscopic measurements showed that polymerization inside the confined environment of the nanometric pores results in a tighter and denser packing of the polymer due to a change of the polymerization process from the vinyl groups to the conjugated carbazole groups, giving rise to a redshift of the absorption spectra and better electrical conductivity. Current-voltage characterization of the hybrids under dark conditions and under illumination were investigated. We demonstrate a simple method to control the band alignment between the organic polymer and the porous silicon, altering it from a type-I to a type-II interface by changing the doping polarity of the silicon substrate (from p-type to n-type, respectively). An efficient photoinduced charge separation was observed for the type-II interface (n-type porous-silicon–polymer interface), while no such effect was observed for the type-I organic–inorganic interface.