In Situ Caging of Biomolecules in Graphene Hybrids for Light Modulated Bioactivity

Gong Cheng, Xiao Hui Han, Si Jie Hao, Merisa Nisic, Si Yang Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Remote and noninvasive modulation of protein activity is essential for applications in biotechnology and medicine. Optical control has emerged as the most attractive approach owing to its high spatial and temporal resolutions; however, it is challenging to engineer light responsive proteins. In this work, a near-infrared (NIR) light-responsive graphene-silica-trypsin (GST) nanoreactor is developed for modulating the bioactivity of trypsin molecules. Biomolecules are spatially confined and protected in the rationally designed compartment architecture, which not only reduces the possible interference but also boosts the bioreaction efficiency. Upon NIR irradiation, the photothermal effect of the GST nanoreactor enables the ultrafast in situ heating for remote activation and tuning of the bioactivity. We apply the GST nanoreactor for remote and ultrafast proteolysis of proteins, which remarkably enhances the proteolysis efficiency and reduces the bioreaction time from the overnight of using free trypsin to seconds. We envision that this work not only provides a promising tool of ultrafast and remotely controllable proteolysis for in vivo proteomics in study of tissue microenvironment and other biomedical applications but also paves the way for exploring smart artificial nanoreactors in biomolecular modulation to gain insight in dynamic biological transformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3361-3371
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 31 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


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