Biological and Medicinal Chemistry

Enzyvitands: evolvable biosynthetic and colorimetric chalices

Thibaud Rossel University of Neuchâtel


Designing the perfect sensor is the dream of any chemist. Since decades, a wide diversity of chemosensors targeting analytes has been explored in chemistry. Their chemical optimization is hard and with no guarantee of success. In this context, we propose a fast and easy-to-assemble colorimetric bio-chemical receptor coined Enzyvitand. It consists only of commercial chemicals. It relies on the reunification of combinatorial chemistry, first and second coordination spheres interactions and indicators displacement assays. All harbored within a protein cavity. The sensor is highly modular, cheap and evolvable. Thanks to its solved X-ray structure, we rationally designed it for the naked-eye recognition of dopamine. Hence, our sensor imitates a biological receptor for the recognition of neurotransmitters. Its immediate high versatility and evolvability is valuable for the selective detection of a wide assortment of analytes from small molecules up to micro-organisms. For the future, we anticipate new biotechnological or immunotherapeutic applications of our bio-sensor.

Version notes

Paper version 4


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Supplementary material

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Enzyvitands evolvable biosynthetic and colorimetric chalices-2021-05-17-09-48