Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 2011, 76, 683-694
Published online 2011-05-04 06:17:05

Nanoporous silica colloidal films with molecular transport gated by aptamers responsive to small molecules

Alexis E. Abelowa, Ryan J. Whiteb, Kevin W. Plaxcoa,b,* and Ilya Zharova,*

a Department of Chemistry, University of Utah, 315 S. 1400 E., Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0850, USA
b Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Program in Biomolecular Science and Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9510, USA


We report the preparation of colloidal nanoporous silica films whose function mimics that of protein channels in gating the transport of small molecules across a cell membrane. Specifically, we report a means of controlling the molecular flux through colloidal nanopores that employ aptamer oligonucleotides binding to a specific organic small molecule (cocaine). These biomacromolecules have been introduced onto the nanopore surface by attaching pre-made oligonucleotides to the activated nanopore surface. The aptamers change their conformation in response to the binding events, and thus alter the free volume of the colloidal nanopores available for molecular transport.

Keywords: Silica; Nanopore; Membranes; Aptamers; Cocaine; Surface chemistry; Colloids; Nanopores; Electrodes.

References: 44 live references.