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J Phys Chem B. 2007 Oct 25;111(42):12141-5. Epub 2007 Oct 4.

An electrochemical gate based on a stimuli-responsive membrane associated with an electrode surface.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Science, Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York 13699-5810, USA.


The electrochemical gate based on a chemical signal-responsive membrane was assembled on a Au electrode surface. The polyelectrolyte gel membrane was capable to bind cholesterol because of the hydrogen bonding between cholesterol and the polymer backbone resulting in the gel swelling. The membrane channels were reversibly closed and opened upon addition and washing out cholesterol, respectively. Thus, the electrochemical process of a soluble redox probe, [Fe(CN)(6)](3-/4-), at the membrane-modified electrode was reversibly switched "on-off" by the cyclic addition and washing out cholesterol. The electrochemical reaction was also tuned by the variation of the concentration of the added cholesterol that controlled the extent of the channels closing. The switchable and tuneable operation of the chemically controlled electrochemical gate was characterized by Faradaic impedance spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy, indicating that the extent of the pores opening and closing is controlled by the concentration of the membrane-associated cholesterol. The chemical-responsive electrochemical gate was suggested to be a part of future biochemical/electrochemical systems with logic operations.

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