Selective detection of phospholipids using molecularly imprinted fluorescent sensory core-shell particles

Qianjin LI, Sudhirkumar Shinde, Giuliana Grasso, Borje Sellergren*, Antonio Caroli, Rahma Abouhany, Michele Lanzillotta, Guoqing Pan, Wei Wan, Knut Rurack, Börje Sellergren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a bioactive sphingo-lipid with a broad range of activities coupled to its role in G-protein coupled receptor signalling. Monitoring of both intra and extra cellular levels of this lipid is challenging due to its low abundance and lack of robust afnity assays or sensors. We here report on fuorescent sensory core-shell molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) particles responsive to near physiologically relevant levels of S1P and the S1P receptor modulator fngolimod phosphate (FP) in spiked human serum samples. Imprinting was achieved using the tetrabutylammonium (TBA) salt of FP or phosphatidic acid (DPPA·Na) as templates in combination with a polymerizable nitrobenzoxadiazole (NBD)-urea monomer with the dual role of capturing the phospho-anion and signalling its presence. The monomers were grafted from ca 300nm RAFT-modifed silica core particles using ethyleneglycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) as crosslinker resulting in 10–20nm thick shells displaying selectivefuorescence response to the targeted lipids S1P and DPPA in aqueous bufered media. Potential use of
the sensory particles for monitoring S1P in serum was demonstrated on spiked serum samples, proving a linear range of 18–60µM and a detection limit of 5.6µM, a value in the same range as the plasma concentration of the biomarker.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9924
Number of pages7
JournalNature Scientific Reports
Issue number9924
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2020


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