M. Dabrowski, M. Cieplaka, P. Sindhu Sharma, P. Borowicz, K. Noworyta, W. Lisowski, F. D'Souza, A. Kuhn, W. Kutner
Nanostructured artificial receptor materials with unprecedented hierarchical structure for determination of human serum albumin (HSA) are designed and fabricated. For that purpose a new hierarchical template is prepared. This template allowed for simultaneous structural control of the deposited molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) film on three length scales. A colloidal crystal templating with optimized electrochemical polymerization of 2,3â€²-bithiophene enables deposition of an MIP film in the form of an inverse opal. Thickness of the deposited polymer film is precisely controlled with the number of current oscillations during potentiostatic deposition of the imprinted poly(2,3â€²-bithiophene) film. Prior immobilization of HSA on the colloidal crystal allows formation of molecularly imprinted cavities exclusively on the internal surface of the pores. Furthermore, all binding sites are located on the surface of the imprinted cavities at locations corresponding to positions of functional groups present on the surface of HSA molecules due to prior derivatization of HSA molecules with appropriate functional monomers. This synergistic strategy results in a material with superior recognition performance. Integration of the MIP film as a recognition unit with a sensitive extended-gate field-effect transistor (EG-FET) transducer leads to highly selective HSA determination in the femtomolar concentration range.