The "chemical nose/tongue" approach presents a potential alternative to specific recognition and separations techniques. In this approach a sensor array is generated to provide differential interaction with analytes via selective receptors, generating a stimulus response pattern that can be statistically analyzed and used for the identification of individual target analytes and also analysis of complex mixtures. Recently, we have developed nanoparticle-fluorescent polymer sensors for identification of proteins, bacteria, and cancerous cells through a fluorophore-displacement mechanism as well as a highly sensitive nanoparticle-GFP based "chemical nose" strategy for protein detection in biofluid. Current chemical nose sensors for proteins and cell-surfaces are single channel, meaning a separate well or channel is required for each sensing element. This requirement for spatially distinct sensor elements complicates both microplate-based techniques and the application of array-based sensing in other venues, including microfluidics platforms and tissue staining. To overcome this limitation, we will exploit the spectral range of fluorescent proteins (FPs) to provide multi-channel fluorescence transduction for sensing applications. Multi-channel sensing will facilitate implementation of array-based sensing, allowing "one well" sensing while improving sensitivity through generation of ratiometric dadt. In this program, we will use the tools of supramolecular chemistry to synergistically engineer both the protein and AuNP quencher to provide highly efficient and versatile platforms for protein and cell surface sensing.
Rapid and efficient sensing of proteins and cell surfaces will provide access to new diagnostics for many diseases.
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