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Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society (BKCS)

ISSN 0253-2964(Print)
ISSN 1229-5949(Online)
Volume 32, Number 12
BKCSDE 32(12)
December 20, 2011 

Imaging the Enzymatic Reaction of Urease Using Liquid Crystal-Based pH Sensor
Qiong-Zheng Hu, Chang-Hyun Jang *
Liquid crystals, 4-Cyano-4'-pentylbiphenyl (5CB), 4'-Pentyl-biphenyl-4-carboxylic acid (PBA), Sensors, Urease
In this study, real-time and label-free methods for monitoring the enzymatic reaction of urease, which releases ammonia through the hydrolysis of urea in an aqueous solution, were developed using a liquid crystal (LC)- based pH sensor. Nematic liquid crystal 4-cyano-4'-pentylbiphenyl (5CB), doped with 4'-pentyl-biphenyl-4- carboxylic acid (PBA), exhibited a shift in optical appearance from bright to dark when it was in contact with ammonia generated from the enzymatic reaction between urease and urea. This optical change was attributed to the anchoring transitions of LCs caused by hydrophobic interactions between the tails of deprotonted PBA (PBA−) molecules and the LCs at the aqueous/LC interface. This novel technique holds great promise for the sensitive detection of urease along with its substrates and inhibitors.
4377 - 4381
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