A metallo-biopolymer conjugate of elastin-like polypeptide: photoluminescence enhancement in the coacervate microenvironment
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An optically active metallo-polymer assembly is demonstrated via conjugation of a genetically engineered elastin-like polypeptide (ELP) and a ruthenium(II) polypyridyl complex. By taking advantage of the phase transition of ELPs in water, photophysical properties of the resultant conjugate are investigated for both phases, below and above the critical transition temperature. Upon coacervation, the luminescence of the metallo-ELP is greatly enhanced as a consequence of local effects on the metal–ligand luminophore. These findings open a possibility to harness the temperature control of stimuli-responsive properties of biopolymers.
KeywordsBioconjugation Elastin-like polymers Luminescence Metal complex Optical biomaterials
The authors acknowledge financial support, including a Director’s postdoctoral fellowship (K.G.), by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program. K.E. acknowledges the financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, and Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS) under the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) program. This work was partly performed at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, an Office of Science User Facility operated for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science. Los Alamos National Laboratory, an affirmative action equal opportunity employer, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, for the National Nuclear Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy under contract DE-AC52-06NA25396.