Solid phase immobilization of optically responsive liposomes in sol-gel materials for chemical and biological sensing

Stacey A. Yamanaka, Deborah H. Charych, Douglas A. Loy, Darryl Y. Sasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Liposomes enhanced with surface recognition groups have previously been found to have high affinity for heavy metal ions and virus particles with unique fluorescent and colorimetric responses, respectively. These lipid aggregate systems have now been successfully immobilized in a silica matrix via the sol-gel method, affording sensor materials that are robust, are easily handled, and offer optical clarity. The mild processing conditions allow quantitative entrapment of preformed liposomes without modification of the aggregate structure. Lipid extraction studies of immobilized nonpolymerized liposomes showed no lipid leakage in aqueous solution over a period of 3 months. Heavy metal fluorescent sensor materials prepared with 5% N-[8-[1-octadecyl-2-(9-(1-pyrenyl)nonyl)-rac-glyceroyl]-3,6-dioxaoctyl] iminodiacetic acid/distearylphosphatidylcholine liposomes exhibited a 4-50-fold enhancement in sensitivity to various metal ions compared to that of the liposomes in free solution. Through ionic attraction the anionic silicate surface, at the experimental pH of 7.4, may act as a preconcentrator of divalent metal ions, boosting the gel's internal metal concentration. Entrapped sialic acid-coated polydiacetylene liposomes responded with colorimetric signaling to influenza virus X31, although slower than the free liposomes in solution. The successful transport of the virus (50-100 nm diameter) reveals a large pore diameter of the gel connecting the liposome to the bulk solution. The porous and durable silica matrix additionally provides a protective barrier to biological attack (bacterial, fungal) and allows facile recycling of the liposome heavy metal sensor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5049-5053
Number of pages5
Issue number19
StatePublished - Sep 17 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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