Glucose-sensitive nanoassemblies comprising affinity-binding complexes trapped in fuzzy microshells. Academic Article uri icon


  • A new design for glucose monitoring with "smart" materials based on self assembly, competitive binding, and resonance energy transfer (RET) is presented. The basic transduction principle is changing RET efficiency from fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) to tetramethylrhodamine isothiocyanate (TRITC), as FITC-dextran is displaced from TRITC-Concanavalin A (Con A) with the addition of glucose. Nanoscale fabrication by self-assembly of Con A/dextran into multilayer films, followed by polymer multilayers. The advantages of this approach include physical localization and separation of sensing molecules from the environment via entrapment of the biosensorelements in a semi-permeable polymeric shell, and only functional molecules are included in the sensors. To realize these nanostructures, dissolvable resin microparticles were coated with FITC-dextran+TRITC-Con A multilayers, followed by polyelectrolyte multilayers, and the core particles were then dissolved to yield hollow capsules. The nanoassembly process was studied using microbalance mass measurements, fluorescence spectroscopy, confocal fluorescence microscopy, and zeta-potential measurements. The key findings are that the specific binding between Con A and dextran can be used to deposit ultrathin multilayer films, and these exhibit changing RET in response to glucose. Fluorescence spectra of a microcapsules exhibited a linear, glucose-specific, 27% increase in the relative fluorescence of FITC over the 0-1800 mg/dL range. These findings demonstrate the feasibility of using self-assembled microcapsules as optical glucose sensors, and serve as a basis for work toward better understanding the properties of these novel materials.

published proceedings

  • J Fluoresc

author list (cited authors)

  • Chinnayelka, S., & McShane, M. J.

citation count

  • 66

complete list of authors

  • Chinnayelka, Swetha||McShane, Michael J

publication date

  • January 2004