e-Beam nanopatterned photoresponsive bacteriorhodopsin-containing hydrogels
A number of studies were conducted, to demonstrate the fabrication of stimuli-responsive hydrogel nanostructures, using electron-beam lithography (EBL). Bacteriorhoospin with amine-terminated poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) was conjugated, to conduct the study. It was found that the hydrogels swelled in aqueous solutions, due to hydration of PAA segments. It was also observed that at pH conditions above the pKA of PAA, the carboxylic acid groups begin to dissociate, causing buildup of osmotic pressure, which leads to significant chain stretching and increase hydrogel swelling. It was found that exposing the hydrogel to green light induced a multi-stage photocycle, involving conformational change in the bR from all-trans to 13-cis, producing increased proton fluxes. This process decreased local pH, causing the PAA acid groups to protonate and the hydrogel to de-swell into a shrunken form.
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