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Dispersible Conjugated Polymer Nanoparticles as Biointerface Materials for Label-Free Bacteria Detection

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journal contribution
posted on 27.08.2020 by Nada Elgiddawy, Shiwei Ren, Abderrahim Yassar, Alain Louis-Joseph, Hélène Sauriat-Dorizon, Waleed M.A. El Rouby, Ahmed O. El-Gendy, Ahmed A. Farghali, Hafsa Korri-Youssoufi
Fast and efficient identification of bacterial pathogens in water and biological fluids is an important issue in medical, food safety, and public health concerns that requires low-cost and efficient sensing strategies. Impedimetric sensors are promising tools for monitoring bacteria detection because of their reliability and ease-of-use. We herein report a study on new biointerface-based amphiphilic poly­(3-hexylthiophene)-b-poly­(3-triethylene-glycol-thiophene), P3HT-b-P3TEGT, for label-free impedimetric detection of Escherichia coli (E. coli). This biointerface is fabricated by the self-assembly of P3HT-b-P3TEGT into core–shell nanoparticles, which was further decorated with mannose, leading to an easy-to-use solution-processable nanoparticle material for biosensing. The hydrophilic block P3TEGT promotes antifouling and prevents nonspecific interactions, while improving the ionic and electronic transport properties, thus enhancing the electrochemical-sensing capability in aqueous solution. Self-assembly and micelle formation of P3HT-b-P3TEGT were analyzed by 2D-NMR, Fourier transform infrared, dynamic light scattering, contact angle, and microscopy characterizations. Detection of E. coli was characterized and evaluated using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and optical and scanning electron microscopy techniques. The sensing layer based on the mannose-functionalized P3HT-b-P3TEGT nanoparticles demonstrates targeting ability toward E. coli pili protein with a detection range from 103 to 107 cfu/mL, and its selectivity was studied with Gram­(+) bacteria. Application to real samples was performed by detection of bacteria in tap and the Nile water. The approach developed here shows that water/alcohol-processable-functionalized conjugated polymer nanoparticles are suitable for use as electrode materials, which have potential application in fabrication of a low-cost, label-free impedimetric biosensor for the detection of bacteria in water.