Allosteric signal-amplification sensing with polymer-based supramolecular hosts

  • Gaku FukuharaEmail author
Review Article


The lock-and-key principle is a fundamental substance to create chemosensors that sense target analytes. Our results based on the lock-and-key concept, i.e., inherently chiral molecular clips and resorcin[4]arenes, were introduced and their inherent problems were also explained. Hence, a novel sensing methodology, “supramolecular allosteric signal-amplification sensing” (SASS), has been proposed to develop functional polythiophenes and polysaccharides for amino acids, peptides, and oligosaccharides that are difficult to sense. The polythiophene sensors showed amplified responses through a positive allosterism, and the polysaccharide sensors capture oligosaccharides in aqueous media and then were expanded to an extremely sensitive in situ oligosaccharide sensor that is dynamically controllable. The present SASS strategy using polymer chemosensors that behave very differently from common ones is essentially based on an allosterically molecular information propagation, upon interaction of an analyte to a chemosensor’s binding pocket, to an amplifying polymer reporter.


Chemosensor Supramolecular sensing The lock-and-key principle Allosterism Amplification 



The author greatly appreciate the committee members of Association of Research for Host–Guest and Supramolecular Chemistry for awarding “SHGSC Japan Award of Excellence 2018”. The author is also deeply grateful to Prof. Yoshihisa Inoue of Osaka University for his positive and constructive suggestions, to all the group members developed the studies in this review, and to the financial support by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) (Nos. 20850023, 23750129, 26620061, and JP16H06041) and Japan Science Technology Agency (JST), PRESTO (No. JPMJPR17PA) and by research grants from the Nikko Memorial Foundation, the Shorai Foundation for Science and Technology, the Nikki-Saneyoshi (JGC-S) Scholarship Foundation, the Ogasawara Foundation for the Promotion of Science & Engineering, the Iwatani Naoji Foundation, the Sumitomo Foundation, the Nakatani Foundation, and the Kurata Grants. The author finally thanks Ms. Yuki Fukuhara for her assistance in the preparation of this review.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryTokyo Institute of TechnologyTokyoJapan
  2. 2.JST, PRESTOKawaguchiJapan

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