Bacterial nanocellulose membrane as novel substrate for biomimetic structural color materials: Application to lysozyme sensing

Akmaral Suleimenova, Manuela F. Frasco, Francisco A. G. Soares da Silva, Miguel Gama, Elvira Fortunato, M. Goreti F. Sales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


The development of optical biosensors based on structural colors generated by short-range ordered colloidal particles is attracting growing interest due to their non-iridescent and non-fading features. In this study, a biomimetic approach using biopolymers for the various steps of sensor construction is presented. Bacterial nanocellulose (BNC) has many foreseen applications in biomedical engineering because of its biocompatibility, good mechanical strength, and large modifiable surface area. Herein, a novel approach is taken by using functionalized BNC as a substrate to build a molecularly imprinted photonic sensing layer. BNC was modified with polydopamine (PDA), which improved the adhesion and mechanical properties of the BNC substrate while providing simultaneously a black background for color saturation. A molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) also made of PDA was used to create the recognition sites for the biomarker lysozyme. A monodisperse colloidal suspension of silica particles was first synthesized and used as core of the MIP shell, and then the photonic structure was assembled on the PDA-BNC membrane. The biosensor showed a detection limit of about 0.8 nmol L−1 of lysozyme in spiked human serum and demonstrated to be selective against cystatin C. These properties, combined with biocompatible, eco-friendly, and low-cost materials, offer a sustainable sensing platform with great potential for healthcare applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100310
Number of pages9
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics: X
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • Bacterial nanocellulose
  • Lysozyme
  • Molecular imprinting technology
  • Photonic polymers
  • Polydopamine


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