Complex liquid colloids hold great promise as transducers in sensing applications as a result of their tunable morphology and intrinsic optical properties. Herein, we introduce meta-amino substituted green fluorescence protein chromophore (GFPc) surfactants that localize at the organic-water interface of complex multiphase liquid colloids. The meta-amino GFPc exhibits hydrogen-bonding (HB) mediated fluorescence quenching, and are nearly nonemissive in the presence of protic solvents. We demonstrate morphology-dependent fluorescence of complex liquid colloids and investigate the interplay between GFPc surfactants and other simple surfactants. This environmentally responsive surfactant allows us to observe morphological changes of complex emulsions in randomized orientations. We demonstrate utility with an enzyme activity based fluorescence "turn-ON" scheme. The latter employs an oligopeptide-linked GFPc that functions as both a surfactant and trypsin target. The cleavage of hydrophilic peptide results in a morphology change and ultimately a fluorescence turn-on. Fluorescent complex colloids represent a new approach for biosensing in liquid environments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry