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ACS Nano. 2008 Jan;2(1):19-24. doi: 10.1021/nn700166x.

Phosphate sensing by fluorescent reporter proteins embedded in polyacrylamide nanoparticles.

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  • 1Polymer Department, Risø, Technical University of Denmark, Roskilde 4000, Denmark.


Phosphate sensors were developed by embedding fluorescent reporter proteins (FLIPPi) in polyacrylamide nanoparticles with diameters from 40 to 120 nm. The sensor activity and protein loading efficiency varied according to nanoparticle composition, that is, the total monomer content (% T) and the cross-linker content (% C). Nanoparticles with 28% T and 20% C were considered optimal as a result of relatively high loading efficiency (50.6%) as well as high protein activity (50%). The experimental results prove that the cross-linked polyacrylamide matrix could protect FLIPPi from degradation by soluble proteases to some extent. This nanoparticle embedding method provides a novel promising tool for in vivo metabolite studies. It also demonstrates a universal method for embedding different fragile bioactive elements, such as antibodies, genes, enzymes, and other functional proteins, in nanoparticles for, for example, sensing, biological catalysis, and gene delivery.

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