Single analyte to multi-analyte fluorescence sensors

John J. Lavigne, Axel Metzger, Kenichi Niikura, Larry A. Cabell, Steve M. Savoy, J. Seung Jin Yoo, John T. McDevitt, Dean Neikirk, Jason B. Shear, Eric V. Anslyn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The rational design of small molecules for the selective complexation of analytes has reached a level of sophistication such that there exists a high degree of prediction. An effective strategy for transforming these hosts into sensors involves covalently attaching a fluorophore to the receptor which displays some fluorescence modulation when analyte is bound. Competition methods, such as those used with antibodies, are also amenable to these synthetic receptors, yet there are few examples. In our laboratories, the use of common dyes in competition assays with small molecules has proven very effective. For example, an assay for citrate in beverages and an assay for the secondary messenger IP3 in cells have been developed. Another approach we have explored focuses on multi-analyte sensor arrays which attempt to mimic the mammalian sense of taste. Our system utilizes polymer resin beads with the desired sensors covalently attached. These functionalized microspheres are then immobilized into micromachined wells on a silicon chip thereby creating our taste buds. Exposure of the resin to analyte causes a change in the transmittance of the bead. This change can be fluorescent or colorimetric. Optical interrogation of the microspheres, by illuminating from one side of the water and collecting the signal on the other, results in an image. These data streams are collected using a CCD camera which creates red, green and blue (RGB) patterns that are distinct and reproducible for their environments. Analysis of this data can identify and quantify the analytes present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
PublisherSociety of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)0819430722
StatePublished - 1999
EventProceedings of the 1999 Advances in Fluorescence Sensing Technology - San Jose, CA, USA
Duration: Jan 24 1999Jan 27 1999

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherProceedings of the 1999 Advances in Fluorescence Sensing Technology
CitySan Jose, CA, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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