Non-covalently embedded oxytocin in alkanethiol monolayer as Zn2+ selective biosensor

Jessica Attia, Sivan Nir, Evgeniy Mervinetsky, Dora Balogh, Agata Gitlin-Domagalska, Israel Alshanski, Meital Reches*, Mattan Hurevich*, Shlomo Yitzchaik*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Peptides are commonly used as biosensors for analytes such as metal ions as they have natural binding preferences. In our previous peptide-based impedimetric metal ion biosensors, a monolayer of the peptide was anchored covalently to the electrode. Binding of metal ions resulted in a conformational change of the oxytocin peptide in the monolayer, which was measured using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Here, we demonstrate that sensing can be achieved also when the oxytocin is non-covalently integrated into an alkanethiol host monolayer. We show that ion-binding cause morphological changes to the dense host layer, which translates into enhanced impedimetric signals compared to direct covalent assembly strategies. This biosensor proved selective and sensitive for Zn2+ ions in the range of nano- to micro-molar concentrations. This strategy offers an approach to utilize peptide flexibility in monitoring their response to the environment while embedded in a hydrophobic monolayer.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number7051
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 29 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the RECORD-IT project. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 664786. S.Y. would like to thank the Benjamin H. Birstein Chair in Chemistry.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


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