Polyaniline nanoscaffolds for colorimetric sensing of biomolecules via electron transfer process

Antony, M.J.; Jayakannan, M.

Langmuir 27(10): 6268-6278


ISSN/ISBN: 0743-7463
PMID: 21517027
DOI: 10.1021/es00113a601
Accession: 052416232

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Biologically important analytes such as cysteine and vitamin-C were detected by electron transfer (ET) via naked eye colorimetric sensing using a tailor-made water-soluble self-doped polyaniline (PSPANa) as a substrate. Monomer (N-3-sulfopropylaniline) was synthesized via ring-opening of propane sultone with excess aniline and polymerized in water using ammonium persulfate to obtain green water-soluble polymer. Vitamin-C (ascorbic acid) and cysteine showed unexpected sharp and instantaneous color change from blue to colorless sensing action. The stoichiometry of the analyte to polymer was determined as 3:2 and 4:1 with association (or binding) constants of K = 2.1 × 10(3) and 1.5 × 10(3) M(-1) for vitamin-C and cysteine, respectively. Efficient electron transfer from vitamin-C (also cysteine) to the quinoid unit of the polyaniline base occurred in solution; as a result, the color of the solution changed from deep blue to colorless. Cyclic voltammetry analysis of PSPANa showed the disappearance of the cathodic peak at -0.21 V upon the addition of analytes (vitamin-C and cysteine) and confirms the electron transfer from the analyte to the polymer backbone. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) and zeta potential techniques were utilized to trace the molecular interactions in the electron transfer process. DLS histograms of the polymer samples confirmed the existence of nanoaggregates of 8-10 nm in diameter. The polymers possessed typical amphiphilic structure to produce micellar aggregates which facilitate the efficient electron transfer occurred between the analyte and polyaniline backbone.