This Creative Inquiry project focuses on modification of polymers that include main-chain, positively-charged phosphonium units. Such polymers, often called ionomers or polyelectrolytes, have notable applications including remediation of contaminated water. This contribution will focus on preparation of polyelectrolyte:dye complexes and the use of these complexes in indicator displacement assays as a means of detecting anions through UV-vis spectroscopic analysis. The sensitivity and selectivity of each complex for common anions will be discussed. Anions of interest include certain amino acids, antibiotics, an anthrax biomarker, and more common anions found in ground water. Through appropriate selection of polyelectrolyte:dye complex the sensitivity and selectivity can be tuned for desired applications.
Amendola, Stephanie M.; Hopkins, Nikolas S.; Kabrich, William P.; Lawrence, Ashlynn M.; and Smith, Rhett C., "Indicator Displacement Assays based on Polyelectrolyte:Dye Complexes" (2015). Focus on Creative Inquiry. 105.