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Sci Rep. 2013;3:1662. doi: 10.1038/srep01662.

A stimuli-responsive nanopore based on a photoresponsive host-guest system.

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  • 1Key Laboratory for Advanced Materials & Department of Chemistry, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237, P R China.


The open-close states of the ion channels in a living system are regulated by multiple stimuli such as ligand, pH, potential and light. Functionalizing natural channels by using synthetic chemistry would provide biological nanopores with novel properties and applications. Here we use para-sulfonato-calix[4]arene-based host-guest supramolecular system to develop artificial gating mechanisms aiming at regulating wild-type α-HL commanded by both ligand and light stimuli. Using the gating property of α-hemolysin, we studied the host-guest interactions between para-sulfonato-calix[4]arene and 4, 4'-dipyridinium-azobenzene at the single-molecule level. Subsequently, we have extended the application of this gating system to the real-time study of light-induced molecular shuttle based on para-sulfonato-calix[4]arene and 4, 4'-dipyridinium-azobenzene at the single-molecule level. These experiments provide a more efficient method to develop a general tool to analyze the individual motions of supramolecular systems by using commercially available α-HL nanopores.

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