We are delighted to announce a new publication released today is our latest work in the area of bacterial diagnostics. We have attached Nile Red as a pendant dye to our highly branched PNIPAM polymers to create a diagnostic infection sensor, and our latest results are published in Acta Biomateriala.
This study shows how highly branched poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) (HB-PNIPAM) with a chain pendant solvatochromic dye (Nile red) could provide a fluorescence signal, as end groups bind to bacteria and chain segments become desolvated, indicating the presence of bacteria. Vancomycin was attached to chain ends of HB-PNIPAM or as pendant groups on linear polymers each containing Nile red. Location of the dye was varied between placement in the core of the branched polymer coil or the outer domains. Both calorimetric and fluorescence data showed that branched polymers responded to binding of both the peptide target (D-Ala-D-Aa) and bacteria in a different manner than analogous linear polymers; binding and response was more extensive in the branched variant. The fluorescence data showed that only segments located in the outer domains of branched polymers responded to binding of Gram-positive bacteria with little response when linear analogous polymer or branched polymer with the dye in the inner core was exposed to Staphylococcus aureus.