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Reports from Massachusetts Institute of Technology Add New Data to Findings in Molecular Recognition

February 25, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Life Science Weekly -- New research on Molecular Recognition is the subject of a report. According to news reporting originating in Cambridge, Massachusetts, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, "Temporal and spatial changes in neurotransmitter concentrations are central to information processing in neural networks. Therefore, biosensors for neurotransmitters are essential tools for neuroscience."

The news reporters obtained a quote from the research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, "In this work, we applied a new technique, corona phase molecular recognition (CoPhMoRe), to identify adsorbed polymer phases on fluorescent single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) that allow for the selective detection of specific neurotransmitters, including dopamine. We functionalized and suspended SWCNTs with a library of different polymers (n = 30) containing phospholipids, nucleic acids, and amphiphilic polymers to study how neurotransmitters modulate the resulting band gap, near-infrared (nIR) fluorescence of the SWCNT. We identified several corona phases that enable the selective detection of neurotransmitters. Catecholamines such as dopamine increased the fluorescence of specific single-stranded DNA- and RNA-wrapped SWCNTs by 58-80% upon addition of 100 mu M dopamine depending on the SWCNT chirality (n,m). In solution, the limit of detection was 11 nM [K-d = 433 nM for (GT)(15) DNA-wrapped SWCNTs]. Mechanistic studies revealed that this turn-on response is due to an increase in fluorescence quantum yield and not covalent modification of the SWCNT or scavenging of reactive oxygen species. When immobilized on a surface, the fluorescence intensity of a single DNA- or RNA-wrapped SWCNT is enhanced by a factor of up to 5.39 +/- 1.44, whereby fluorescence signals are reversible. Our findings indicate that certain DNA/RNA coronae act as conformational switches on SWCNTs, which reversibly modulate the SWCNT fluorescence."

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "These findings suggest that our polymer SWCNT constructs can act as fluorescent neurotransmitter sensors in the tissue-compatible nIR optical window, which may find applications in neuroscience."

For more information on this research see: Neurotransmitter Detection Using Corona Phase Molecular Recognition on Fluorescent Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Sensors. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2014;136(2):713-724. Journal of the American Chemical Society can be contacted at: Amer Chemical Soc, 1155 16TH St, NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA. (American Chemical Society -; Journal of the American Chemical Society -

Our news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained by contacting S. Kruss, MIT, Dept. of Chem Engn, Cambridge, MA 02139, United States. Additional authors for this research include M.P. Landry, E. Vander Ende, B.M.A. Lima, N.F. Reuel, J.Q. Zhang, J. Nelson, B. Mu, A. Hilmer and M. Strano (see also Molecular Recognition).

Keywords for this news article include: Dopamine, Cambridge, Fullerenes, DNA Research, Massachusetts, United States, Catecholamines, Nanotechnology, Biogenic Amines, Organic Chemicals, Emerging Technologies, Molecular Recognition, North and Central America, Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes

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Source: Life Science Weekly

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