Thin semitransparent gels containing phenylboronic acid: Porosity, optical response and permeability for sugars

Alexander E. Ivanov, Chongdee Thammakhet, Marina V. Kuzimenkova, Panote Thavarungkul, Proespichaya Kanatharana, Lyubov I. Mikhalovska, Sergey V. Mikhalovsky, Igor Yu Galaev, Bo Mattiasson

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Radical copolymerization of acrylamide (Am) (90 mol%) with N-acryloyl-m-aminophenylboronic acid (NAAPBA) (10 mol%) carried out on the surface of glass slides in aqueous solution and in the absence of chemical cross-linkers, resulted in the formation of thin semitransparent gels. The phenylboronic acid (PBA) ligand density was ca. 160 μmol/ ml gel. The gels exhibited a macroporous structure and displayed optical response to sucrose, lactose, glucose and fructose in 50 mM sodium phosphate buffer, in the pH range from 6.5 to 7.5. The response was fairly reversible and linearly depended on glucose concentration in the wide concentration range from 1 to 60 mM at pH 7.3. The character of response was explained by the balance of two competing equilibrium processes: binding of glucose to phenylboronate anions and binary hydrophobic interactions of neutral PBA groups. The apparent diffusion coefficient of glucose in the gels was ca. 2.5 × 10-7 cm 2/s. A freshly prepared gel can be used daily for at least 1 month without changes in sensitivity. Autoclaving (121°C, 1.2 bar, 10 min) allows for the gels sterilization, which is important for their use as glucose sensors in fermentation processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-95
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Molecular Recognition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2008



  • Boronic acid
  • Diffusion
  • Molecular recognition
  • Smart polymers
  • Sugar sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this

Ivanov, A. E., Thammakhet, C., Kuzimenkova, M. V., Thavarungkul, P., Kanatharana, P., Mikhalovska, L. I., Mikhalovsky, S. V., Galaev, I. Y., & Mattiasson, B. (2008). Thin semitransparent gels containing phenylboronic acid: Porosity, optical response and permeability for sugars. Journal of Molecular Recognition, 21(2), 89-95.