Biological Systems Engineering


Date of this Version



DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10241


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Corona phase molecular recognition (CoPhMoRe) uses a heteropolymer adsorbed onto and templated by a nanoparticle surface to recognize a specific target analyte. This method has not yet been extended to macromolecular analytes, including proteins. Herein we develop a variant of a CoPhMoRe screening procedure of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) and use it against a panel of human blood proteins, revealing a specific corona phase that recognizes fibrinogen with high selectivity. In response to fibrinogen binding, SWCNT fluorescence decreases by >80% at saturation. Sequential binding of the three fibrinogen nodules is suggested by selective fluorescence quenching by isolated sub-domains and validated by the quenching kinetics. The fibrinogen recognition also occurs in serum environment, at the clinically relevant fibrinogen concentrations in the human blood. These results open new avenues for synthetic, non-biological antibody analogues that recognize biological macromolecules, and hold great promise for medical and clinical applications.