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Hybrid Nano-Bio Interfaces

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Front. Chem. | doi: 10.3389/fchem.2018.00637

Detecting Selective Protein Binding inside Plasmonic Nanopores: Towards a Mimic of the Nuclear Pore Complex

Bita Malekian1,  Rafael Schoch2,  Timothy Robson1, Gustav Ferrand-Drake del Castillo1, Kunli Xiong1, Gustav Emilsson1, Larisa Kapinos2,  Roderick Y. Lim2 and  Andreas Dahlin1*
  • 1Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
  • 2Universität Basel, Switzerland

Biosensors based on plasmonic nanostructures offer label-free and real-time monitoring of biomolecular interactions. However, so do many other surface sensitive techniques with equal or better resolution in terms of surface coverage. Yet, plasmonic nanostructures offer unique possibilities to study effects associated with nanoscale geometry. In this work we use plasmonic nanopores with double gold films and detect binding of proteins inside them. By thiol and trietoxysilane chemistry, receptors are selectively positioned on the silicon nitride interior walls. Larger (~150 nm) nanopores are used detect binding of averaged sized proteins (~60 kg/mol) with high signal to noise (>100). Further, we fabricate pores that approach the size of the nuclear pore complex (diameter down to 50 nm) and graft disordered phenylalanine-glycine nucleoporin domains to the walls, followed by titration of karyopherin β1 transport receptors. The interactions are shown to occur with similar affinity as determined by conventional surface plasmon resonance on planar surfaces. Our work illustrates another unique application of plasmonic nanostructures, namely the possibility to mimic the geometry of a biological nanomachine with integrated optical sensing capabilities.

Keywords: Plasmons, Nanopores, nuclear pore complex, Proteins, Sensors

Received: 16 Oct 2018; Accepted: 07 Dec 2018.

Edited by:

Erik Reimhult, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Austria

Reviewed by:

Aihua Liu, Qingdao University, China
Paolo Actis, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
Jakub Dostalek, Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), Austria  

Copyright: © 2018 Malekian, Schoch, Robson, Ferrand-Drake del Castillo, Xiong, Emilsson, Kapinos, Lim and Dahlin. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Andreas Dahlin, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, 412 96, Vastra Gotaland County, Sweden,