Anal. Chem.  2006 78 (19) 7022 -7026.

Enzyme-Nanoparticle Functionalization of Three-Dimensional Protein Scaffolds

R. T. Hill and J. B. Shear

Various surface modification techniques have been developed for patterning functional biomolecules in two dimensions, allowing enzymes, antibodies, and other compounds to be localized for applications in bioanalysis and bioengineering. Here, we report a strategy for extending high-resolution patterning of biomolecules to three dimensions. In this approach, three-dimensional protein scaffolds are created by a direct-write process in which multiphoton excitation promotes photochemical cross-linking of protein molecules from aqueous solution within specified volume elements. After scaffold fabrication, protein microstructures are functionalized with enzyme-gold nanoparticle conjugates via a targeting process based in part on electrostatic attraction between the low-isoelectric-point enzyme and the microstructure, fabricated from high-isoelectric-point proteins. High signal-to-background ratios (~20:1) are demonstrated for fluorescent product streams created by dephosphorylation of the fluorogenic compound, fluorescein diphosphate, at microstructures decorated with alkaline phosphatase-gold nanoparticle conjugates. We also demonstrate feasibility for using such structures to quantify substrate concentrations in flowing streams with low-micromolar detection limits and to create sensor suites based on both enzyme-nanoparticle functionalization and intrinsic enzymatic activity of protein scaffolds. These topographically complex sensors and dosing sources have potential applications in microfluidics, sensor array fabrication, and real-time chemical modification of cell culture environments.

Anal. Chem.