A bacteriorhodopsin based chemical sensing architecture based upon the collective response of bacteriorhodopsin and a number of its mutants; the wild type protein and a selection of genetically-engineered variants was able to respond differentially to a selection of amines. The observable response to the presence of a target chemical was manifested through a modulation of bacteriorhodopsin's photokinetic properties, which are monitored through pump-probe techniques using a custom prototype flash photolysis system. Differential responsivity exists at two levels; (1) bacteriorhodopsin proteins (wild-type and genetically-engineered variants) respond differentially upon exposure of a target chemical, and (2) the response pattern exhibited by the proteins differs from chemical to chemical. This dichotomy forms the basis for a BR-mediated chemical sensing technology that is highly sensitive and selective and may therefore discriminate between different chemicals.
|Published - Mar 6 2008