U.S. Department of Defense


Date of this Version



Sensing and Bio-Sensing Research 8 (2016), pp. 1–7.


U. S. government work.


This study demonstrates the potential of porphyrin modified antimicrobial peptides for indication of bacterial targets on the basis of changes in the spectrophotometric characteristics of the construct. Detection is a result of changes in the structure of the antimicrobial peptide upon target binding. Those constructs comprised of peptides that offer little or no change in conformation upon interaction with bacterial cells demonstrated negligible changes in absorbance and fluorescence when challenged using Escherichia coli or Bacillus cereus. CD analysis confirms the presence/absence of conformational changes in the porphyrin-peptide constructs. Differing spectrophotometric responses were observed for constructs utilizing different peptides. The incorporation of metals into the porphyrin component of the constructs was shown to alter their spectrophotometric characteristics as well as the resulting absorbance and fluorescence changes noted upon interaction with a target. The described constructs offer the potential to enable a new type of biosensing approach in which the porphyrin-peptide indicators offer both target recognition and optical transduction, requiring no additional reagents.