Developing site selectively templated and tagged xerogels as sensor platforms
Holthoff, Ellen L.
MetadataShow full item record
Biologically-based recognition elements (e.g., antibodies, aptamers, enzymes) are used as the recognition element within a wide variety of assays and sensor systems. There are, however, compelling reasons for researchers to develop inexpensive, robust, and reusable alternatives for these expensive and unstable biorecognition elements. Molecularly templated sol-gel derived xerogels are possible replacements for expensive/labile biorecognition elements, and in the area of chemical sensing based on molecularly imprinted polymers, fluorescence-based measurements are an attractive signaling method due to simplicity and low detection limits. This dissertation provides an in-depth discussion of research efforts on the development of a new sensor strategy that we have termed site selectively templated and tagged xerogels (SSTTXs). The SSTTX platform is completely self-contained, uses fluorescence-based detection methods, and achieves analyte recognition without the use of biomolecules. To illustrate the SSTTX scheme's potential, results for the selective detection and quantification of a model compound, 9-anthrol, are reported. This system exhibits a reversible response, provides sub-micromolar detection limits for the target analyte, and exhibits a response time of <45 s. The origin of the>sensor's response to the target analyte is discussed, and the local microenvironments within the SSTTX are also explored.