Balancing the Initiation and Molecular Recognition Capabilities of Eosin Macroinitiators of Polymerization-Based Signal Amplification Reactions



Coupling polymerization initiators to molecular recognition events provide the ability to amplify these events and detect them using the formation of a cross-linked polymer as an inexpensive readout that is visible to the unaided eye. The eosin-tertiary amine co-initiation system, activated by visible light, has proven utility in this context when an average of three eosin molecules are coupled to a protein detection reagent. The present work addresses the question of how detection sensitivity is impacted when the number of eosin molecules per binding event increases in the range of two to fifteen. Unlike in other initiation systems, a non-monotonic relationship is observed between the number of initiators per binding event and the observed detection sensitivity.