Fabrication of a mercaptoacetic acid pillar[5]arene assembled nanochannel: a biomimetic gate for mercury poisoning

Fan Zhang, Junkai Ma, Yue Sun, Imene Boussouar, Demei Tian, Haibing Li, Lei Jiang

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84 Citations (Scopus)


Mercury ion binding blocks potassium ion channels, which leads to toxicity in vivo. It is challenging to design a simple and efficient artificial system to mimic the sophisticated biological process of mercury poisoning. Herein, based on biomimetic strategies, a tunable mercury(ii) ion-gate modulated by mercaptoacetic acid-pillar[5]arene (MAP5) is reported. By virtue of the unique design of the host-guest competition, potassium ion transport can actualize the reversible switching between "on" and "off" in the absence and presence of mercury ions. Moreover, the MAP5-immobilized nanochannel is highly effective at distinguishing Hg2+ from other metal ions and can be used to detect Hg2+ and act as an excellent and robust gate valve for developing integrated circuits and nanoelectronic logic devices. This study paves a new way for better understanding the physiological phenomenon of mercury toxicity and shows great promise for biomedical research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3227-3233
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016
Externally publishedYes

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