Fluorescent Janus emulsions for biosensing of Listeria monocytogenes

Jie Li, Suchol Savagatrup, Zachary Nelson, Kosuke Yoshinaga, Timothy M. Swager

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Here we report a sensing method for Listeria monocytogenes based on the agglutination of all-liquid Janus emulsions. This two-dye assay enables the rapid detection of trace Listeria in less than 2 h via an emissive signal produced in response to Listeria binding. The biorecognition interface between the Janus emulsions is assembled by attaching antibodies to a functional surfactant polymer with a tetrazine/transcyclooctene click reaction. The strong binding between Listeria and the Listeria antibody located at the hydrocarbon surface of the emulsions results in the tilting of the Janus structure from its equilibrium position to produce emission that would ordinarily be obscured by a blocking dye. This method provides rapid and inexpensive Listeria detection with high sensitivity (<100 CFU/mL in 2 h) that can be paired with many antibody or related recognition elements to create a new class of biosensors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberpnas2002623117
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number22
StatePublished - Jun 2 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Agglutination
  • Biosensing
  • Fluorescent dyes
  • Janus emulsion
  • Listeria monocytogenes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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