An acid-stable 2D covalent organic framework (COF TpPa-1) was synthesized by a reversible Schiff-base reaction and the following irreversible enol-keto tautomerism. The adsorption behaviors of COF TpPa-1 towards Pd(II) in simulated high-level liquid waste (HLLW) were investigated under the effect of contact time, the concentration of nitric acid etc. The obtained experimental results supported that the utilization of this type of acid-stable COF in HLLW to recover metal ion was feasible.
In recent years, drug discovery and therapeutics trends have shifted from a focus on small-molecule compounds to biopharmaceuticals, genes, cell therapy, and regenerative medicine. Therefore, new approaches and technologies must be developed to respond to these changes in medical care. To achieve this, we applied a temperature-responsive separation system to purify a variety of proteins and cells. We developed a temperature-responsive chromatography technique based on a poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm)-grafted stationary phase. This method may be applied to various types of protein and cell separation applications by optimizing the properties of the modified polymers used in this system. Therefore, the developed temperature-responsive HPLC columns and temperature-responsive solid-phase extraction (TR-SPE) columns can be an effective separation tool for new therapeutic modalities such as monoclonal antibodies, nucleic acid drugs, and cells.
Quantum dots (QDs) have been exploited for a range of scientific applications where the analytes can be expected to have significant photoluminescent properties. Previously, the applications of QDs as nanosensors for the detection of toxics in biospecimens, especially in cases of poisoning, have been discussed. This review focuses on the applications of QDs as biosensors for the detection of phytotoxins, vertebrate and invertebrate toxins, and microbial toxins present in biospecimens. Further, the role of QDs in the measurement of biochemical parameters of patient/victim as an indirect method of poison detection is also highlighted.
Surface modification is recognized as one of the fundamental techniques to fabricate biosensing interfaces. This review focuses on the surface modification of carbon substrates (GC and HOPG) and silica with a close-packed monolayer, in particular. In the cases of carbon substrates, GC and HOPG, it was demonstrated that surface modification of carbon substrates with diazonium derivatives could create a close-packed monolayer similar to the self-assembled monolayer (SAM) formation with mercapto derivatives. Similarly, the potential of trialkoxysilanes to form a close-packed monolayer was evaluated, and modification with a close-packed monolayer tended to occur under milder conditions when the trialkoxysilanes had a longer alkyl chain. In these studies, we synthesized surface modification materials having ferrocene as a redox active moiety to explore features of the modified surfaces by an electrochemical method using cyclic voltammetry, where surface concentrations of immobilized molecules and blocking effect were studied to obtain insight for density leading to a close-packed layer. Based on those findings, fabrication of a biosensing interface on the silica sensing chip of the waveguide-mode sensor was carried out using triethoxysilane derivatives bearing succinimide ester and oligoethylene glycol moieties to immobilize antibodies and to suppress nonspecific adsorption of proteins, respectively. The results demonstrate that the waveguide-mode sensor powered by the biosensing interface fabricated with those triethoxysilane derivatives and antibody has the potential to detect several tens ng/mL of biomarkers in human serum with unlabeled detection method.
Biological membranes composed of a lipid bilayer and associated proteins work as a platform for highly selective and sensitive detection in nature. Substrate-supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) are a model system of the biological membrane that are mechanically stable, accessible to highly sensitive analytical techniques, and amenable to micro-fabrication, such as patterning. The surface of SLBs can effectively suppress the non-specific binding of proteins, and enhance selective detection by specific interactions. These features render SLBs highly attractive for the development of devices that utilize artificially mimicked cellular functions. Furthermore, SLBs can be combined with nanoscopic spaces, such as nano-channels and nano-pores, that can reduce the detection volume and suppress the non-specific background noise, enhancing the signal-to-background noise (S/B) ratio. SLBs therefore provide promising platforms for a wide range of biomedical and environmental analyses.
Near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence bioimaging using above to 1000 nm wavelength region is a promising analytical method on visualizing deep tissues. As compared to the short-wavelength ultraviolet (UV: < 400 nm) or visible (VIS: 400 – 700 nm) region, which results in an extremely low absorption or scattering of biomolecules and water in the body, NIR light passes through the tissues. Various fluorescent probes that emit NIR emission in the second (1100 – 1400 nm) or third (1550 – 1800 nm) biological windows have been developed and used for NIR in vivo imaging. Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), quantum dots (QDs), rare-earth doped ceramic nanoparticles (RED-CNPs), and organic dye-based probes have been proposed by many researchers, and are used to successfully visualize the bloodstream, organs, and disease-affected regions, such as cancer. NIR imaging in the second and third biological windows is an effective analytical method on visualizing deep tissues.
One of the most prominent features of genetically encoded biosensors (GEBs) is their evolvability—the ability to invent new sensory functions using mutations. Among the GEBs, the transcription factor-based biosensors (TF-biosensors) is the focus of this review. We also discuss how this class of sensors can be highly evolvable and how we can exploit it. With an established platform for directed evolution, researchers can create, or evolve, new TF-biosensors. Directed evolution experiments have revealed the TF-biosensors’ evolvability, which is based partially on their characteristic physicochemical properties.
In vitro selection has been widely used to generate molecular-recognition elements in analytical sciences. Although reconstituted types of in vitro transcription and translation (IVTT) system, such as PURE system, are nowadays widely used for ribosome display and mRNA/cDNA display, use of E. coli extract is often avoided, presumably because it contains unfavorable contaminants, such as ribonuclease. Nevertheless, the initial speed of protein translation in E. coli extract is markedly faster than that of PURE system. We thus hypothesized that E. coli extract is more appropriate for instant translation in ribosome display than PURE system. Here, we first revisit the potency of E. coli extract for ribosome display by shortening the translation time, and then applied the optimized condition for selecting peptide aptamers for ovalbumin (OVA). The OVA-binding peptides selected using E. coli extract exhibited specific binding to OVA, even in the presence of 50% serum. We conclude that instant translation in ribosome display using E. coli extract has the potential to generate easy-to-use and economical molecular-recognition elements in analytical sciences.
Pattern-recognition-based sensing has attracted attention as a promising alternative to conventional sensing methods that rely on selective recognition. Here, we report on novel strategy using chemical additives with the ability to modulate probe/analyte interactions to more easily construct pattern-recognition-based sensing systems for proteins and cells. The fluorescence of dansyl-modified cationic poly-L-lysine (PLL-Dnc) is enhanced upon binding to proteins in aqueous solution, while the addition of salts, inert polymers, or alcohols modulates the protein/PLL-Dnc interactions via a variety of mechanisms. Subsequent readout of the fluorescence changes produces response patterns that reflect the characteristics of the analytes. Multivariate analysis of the response patterns allowed for accurate identification of not only eight structurally similar albumin homologues, but also four mammalian cells. This strategy, which uses inexpensive and common additives, significantly improves the accessibility of pattern-recognition-based sensing, which will offer new opportunities for the detection of various bioanalytes.
The chemical sensing of saccharides is of importance for the diagnosis of diabetes. Various enzymatic sensors have been developed, but their heat and pH instability issues need to be resolved. In this regard, the development of artificial saccharide sensors with high stability is attracting attention. We have designed a heat- and pH-stable supramolecular inclusion complex system composed of cyclodextrin (CyD) as a host and a phenylboronic acid (PB) probe possessing pyrene as a fluorescent guest. Several probes possessing alkyl spacers having various lengths between the PB and the pyrene moiety, Cn-APB (n = 1 – 4), were newly synthesized and evaluated with respect to their monosaccharide recognition ability on the basis of the fluorescence response through the cyclic esterification of monosaccharide and PB. These Cn-APB/CyD supramolecular inclusion complexes have exhibited a selective fluorescence response towards fructose in aqueous solution based on the photo-induced electron transfer mechanism. The spacer length of the alkyl group in Cn-APB significantly affects the affinity for saccharides. With respect to the complex between C4-APB and PB-modified CyD (3-PB-γ-CyD), it was found that the supramolecular inclusion complexes had high selectivity for glucose with significant fluorescence enhancement. These results indicate that the lengths of the alkyl spacers in the probe molecules are important to control the recognition of saccharides in aqueous solution.
Bead-based padlock rolling circle amplification under molecular crowding conditions, which we have developed for ultrasensitive detection of DNA, is examined to improve the detection efficiency and sensitivity of the method as well as to gain insight into the mechanism of the method. Both non-magnetic and magnetic sepharose microbeads were employed. Biotinylated DNA had to be pre-immobilized onto the microbeads in order to obtain products on the magnetic beads. The optimal concentration of biotinylated DNA was found to be about 5 μM, above which the number of products decreased. The effect of the crowder charge was examined, and neutral polymers were found to be effective on ligation and the hybridization step, while charged polymers were only effective on the hybridization step and inhibited the ligation and primer extension. The effect of the molecular weight of neutral dextran on the number of products was investigated, and the number of products was found to be increased with an increase in the molecular weight of dextran.
Formate is the most targeted C1 building block and electron carrier in the post-petroleum era. Formate dehydrogenase (FDH), which catalyzes the production or degradation of formate, has acquired considerable attention. Among FDHs, a metal-dependent FDH that carries a complex active center, molybdenum-pterin cofactor, can directly transfer electrons from formate to other redox proteins without generating NAD(P)H. Previously, we reported an expression system for membrane-bound metal-dependent FDH from E. coli (encoded by the fdoG-fdoH-fdoI operon) and succeeded in its conversion to a soluble protein. However, this protein exhibited a too low stability to be purified and analyzed biochemically. In this study, we tried to improve the stability of heterologously expressed FDH through rational and irrational approaches. As a result, a mutant with the highest specific activity was obtained through a rational approach. This study not only yielded a promising FDH enzyme with enhanced activity and stability for industrial applications, but also offered relevant insights for the handling of recombinant large proteins.
The original activity of epidermal growth factor (EGF) is to promote cell growth or block their apoptosis. However, its activity changes to proapoptotic, completely opposite to the original one, upon conjugation to nanoparticles. We have recently identified that this unique activity conversion was mediated by the confinement of EGF receptor (EGFR) within membrane rafts and signal condensation therein. In this study, we investigated the effect of interfacial parameters between the EGF molecule immobilized at the nanoparticle surface and the cell-surface membrane receptors and analyzed how their interactions were transduced to downstream signaling leading to apoptotic responses. We also studied the cell-type selective apoptotic responses and compared them with EGFR expression level to demonstrate the potential of the nanoparticle conjugate as a new type of anti-cancer drug activating EGFR rather than conventional blocking approaches.
Circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as promising cancer biomarkers because their concentration profiles in body fluids are associated with the type and clinical stage of cancer. For multiplex miRNA detection, a novel surface-functionalized power-free microfluidic chip (SF-PF microchip) has been developed. The inner surface of the SF-PF microchip microchannels was functionalized via electron beam-induced graft polymerization and immobilization of capture probe DNAs. Simultaneous and specific duplex miRNA detection was achieved on the line-type SF-PF microchip with detection limits of 19.1 and 47.6 nmol L−1 for hsa-miR-16 and hsa-miR-500a-3p, respectively. Moreover, simultaneous and specific triplex miRNA detection was achieved on the stripe-type SF-PF microchip. The sample volume required for this microchip was 0.5 μL, and the time required for detection was 17 min. These results indicate that up to six types of miRNAs could be detected without compromising the advantages of the previous SF-PF microchips for cancer point-of-care testing.
The partitioning of water and tetramethylrhodamine-conjugated-10-residue oligopeptides from the aqueous phase of microdroplets into Span 80 reverse micelles was observed by utilizing microdroplet arrays. Each peptide was dissolved in phosphate buffer saline, and initially encapsulated in arrayed droplets. An organic phase containing the reverse micelles was added to the microdroplets. Here, the hydration degree of the reverse micelle was adjusted by contact of the organic phase with a 1.0 M NaCl aqueous solution or with a phosphate buffer saline before combining it with the microdroplets. For micelles treated with a 1.0 M NaCl, significant water transport from the microdroplet to the micelle was observed, and peptide with low solubility in water was transported to the reverse micelles, while those with high solubility in water were not. For micelles treated with phosphate buffer saline, the water transport was minimal, and no significant peptide transport was observed. These results suggest that the partitioning of low-solubility oligopeptides requires accompanying water transport to the reverse micelle phase.
An immunoassay, such as the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), is an analytical method that utilizes the interaction of antigens and antibodies. Enzyme-labeled antigens require both molecular recognition by the antibody and enzymatic activity as a reporter. We designed and constructed an immunodetection system for amyloid beta peptides (Aβ) using an enzyme-labeled antigen expressed from Escherichia coli. Aβ(1–16) fused with renilla luciferase was prepared as the enzyme-labeled antigen. In the presence of this luciferase-fused peptide, the luminescence of coelenterazine-h was observed. The influence of the fusion with Aβ on the luminescence reaction was insignificant. Surface plasmon resonance analysis indicated that the interaction between the luciferase-fused Aβ and anti-Aβ antibody was sufficiently strong. In the competitive ELISA assay for Aβ detection using the luciferase-fused Aβ, the luminescence intensity decreased as the Aβ concentration increased.
Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) was used to detect non-Watson–Crick base pairs of DNA. Thiol-modified DNA as a probe and mercaptohexanol (MCH) were co-immobilized to form a DNA/MCH mixed self-assembled monolayer on a gold electrode surface and then hybridized with complementary DNAs. The DNA layers were measured by the EIS method and interpreted by equivalent circuits. Every terminal base mismatch of the DNA duplex brought about an increase in the charge-transfer resistance (Rct), unlike the case with a fully matched DNA duplex. The value of Rct was highly sensitive to the number of base mismatches for both unpaired and overhang DNA at the terminal. For internal base mismatches, however, no significant increase in Rct was observed. These experimental results proved that the charge transfer of redox molecules to the electrode surface is largely hindered by an end fraying motion due to base unpairing and dangling overhang. EIS was able to detect these steric properties of DNA strands. Furthermore, an electrode modified with G-quadruplex (G4) DNA demonstrated the influences of bulkiness and loop structure on the accessibility of the redox probe to the electrode.
Microplastics as environmental pollutants are increasingly a source of alarm. The characterization of microplastics will be necessary to discriminate microplastics from other types of particles. To discriminate specific microplastics, plastic-adsorbable fluorescent dyes are used, the stained microplastics are separated from the dye-microplastic mixture by filtration, and the type of fluorescent staining of the microplastics is analyzed by fluorescent microscopy. In this study, to realize the in situ analysis of fluorescent staining, i.e., to discriminate microplastics without any separation or filtration processes, we studied the change in the fluorescent properties after adsorption of the fluorescent dyes to the microplastic particle surfaces using a 3D excitation emission matrix fluorescence spectroscopy (the excitation wavelength-dependent emission spectrum). We used three fluorescent dyes: Fluorescein, Rhodamine 6G, and Methylene Blue, and polystyrene microparticles as our model microplastic. Fluorescein and Methylene Blue showed increases in the fluorescent intensity, while Rhodamine 6G showed negligible intensity changes. This is likely due to the degree of affinity of the dyes to the polystyrene particle surface, the structural stability of the dyes on the surface, and the changes in the environment around the dyes after the adsorption of each dye to the surface. We conclude that we have demonstrated the potential to look for appropriate fluorescent dyes using the method studied here to identify and estimate individual plastic materials.
We prepared a novel spherical nucleic acid, containing a core structure of self-immolative poly(carbamate) (PC), with aminobenzyl alcohol as a repeating unit, by conjugating an end-activated PC derivative with an amine-terminated oligoDNA on a solid support for PC-oligoDNA. Dynamic light-scattering measurements revealed a hydrodynamic diameter of 107 nm with a narrow size distribution. A fluorescent monomer with aminobenzyl alcohol is available for PC-oligoDNA synthesis to enhance the fluorescence emission by a domino-like disassembly of PC in response to various external stimuli.
We established a new design for a single molecular beacon-conjugated gold nanoparticle, named monoMB-GNP, which showed enhanced fluorescence emission only in the presence of the complementary DNA sequence. MonoMB-GNP also showed no apparent toxicity to NIH/3T3 cells at 1 nM, as determined by the water-soluble tetrazolium assay. Importantly, the lactobionic acid was successfully modified on the surface of monoMB-GNP. The proposed nanoparticle has prospects for use in several applications for targetable molecular beacon strategies.