Scientists design biosensors to trap pollutants

[ Instrument network instrument research and development ] According to foreign media reports, recently, scientists from Dublin Trinity College redesigned pigments through chemical methods to create a set of biosensors to make them work like miniature Venus flytraps. The sensor can detect and capture specific molecules, such as pollutants, and the sensor may have applications in the fields of environment, medical and safety in the future.
Scientists at Trinity Dublin have chemically altered the pigments to create a set of biosensors like a miniature Venus flytrap.
It is reported that this sensor relies on porphyrin (derived from the Greek word porphura, meaning purple). Porphyrins are a unique class of colored pigments, also known as "life pigments," and they are the key to this breakthrough innovative sensor research. Porphyrins play an important role in the metabolism of organisms. The most prominent examples are heme (the erythrocyte pigment responsible for transporting oxygen) and chlorophyll (the green plant pigment responsible for collecting light and promoting photosynthesis). In nature, the core of these active molecules contains multiple metals, which results in a unique set of properties.
Researchers at Trinity College, under the guidance of Professor Mathias O. Senge, chairman of organic chemistry, chose a destructive method to study the metal-free version of porphyrins, and their work created a whole new set of molecular receptors.
First, by forcing porphyrin molecules to become saddle-shaped from the inside out, they were able to take advantage of a core that the system had not previously been able to access. Then, by introducing functional groups near the active center, they are able to capture small molecules, such as pyrophosphate and sulfate in pharmaceutical or agricultural pollutants, and then keep the small molecules in the receptor-like cavity.
Porphyrin is a strongly colored compound, so when capturing the target molecule, it will cause a sharp change in color, which shows the value of porphyrin as a biosensor, because it will be clear when porphyrin successfully captures the target in visual changes .
"These sensors are like Venus flycatchers. If you bend and deform these molecules, they are like the leaves of Venus flycatchers," said Karolis Norvaiša, a Ph.D. researcher at Trinity College funded by the Irish Research Council and the first author of the study. If you look inward, there will be short, stiff hairs that trigger the trigger. When anything interacts with these hairs, the two lobes of the leaves will close. Then, the peripheral group of the porphyrin will selectively fit "The target molecule is fixed in place in its core, forming a functional and selective binding capsule, just like the finger-like protrusions of Venus flytrap keep the unfortunate target insect inside."
This work marks the start of an EU-wide H2020 FET-OPEN project called INITIO, which aims to detect and remove pollutants. This work was achieved by an initial grant from the Science Foundation of Ireland and the August-Wilhelm Scheer Visiting Professor Award from Prof. Senge of the Technical University of Munich.
Professor Senge added: "Understanding the interactions of porphyrin nuclei is an important milestone for artificial porphyrin-type enzyme catalysts. Reliably has reached the point where the full potential of the porphyrin-substrate interface can be realized and utilized to remove contaminants , Monitor environmental conditions, address security threats, and provide medical diagnosis. "

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