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A General Photo-luminescent Sensor Platform For Specific Enzymes, Drugs And Small Molecules

Chemistry Colloquium | Prof. Uday Maitra | 16 Feb 2023

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Abstract: About a decade ago, we discovered a facile method to enhance the luminescence from lanthanides through the self-assembly of multiple components in a metallohydrogel. Using this strategy, we have developed a pro-sensitizer (‘masked sensitizer’) based protocol for sensing enzymes and bio-relevant small molecules. We have also discovered that several natural products and clinically used drugs can sensitize lanthanides. The gel-based platform, therefore, provides opportunities to detect and quantify such species as well.

The advantage of this technique is that the output (green/red photoluminescence of Tb3+/Eu3+) is independent of the analyte being sensed, and in many cases pre-processing of the sample is not required. For several enzymes present in blood serum and natural product extracts, the presence of the analyte can be readily inferred using an inexpensive, hand-held long-wave UV lamp. We have also developed a low-cost, paper-based method, and a portable device to simplify the assay and believe that further developments can lead to useful, real-life applications.


1.             Dutta, A.; Maitra, U. ACS Sensors 2022, 7, 513.

2.             Biswas, A.; Maitra, U. RSC Adv. 2022, 12, 26106.

3.             Kumar, A.; Sahu, M.; Maitra, U. Asian J. Org. Chem. 2021, 10, 1695.

4.             Gorai, T.; Sakthivel, S.; Maitra, U. Chem. Asian J. 2020, 15, 4023.

5.             Bhowmik, D.; Dutta, A.; Maitra, U. Chem. Commun. 2020, 56, 12061.

6.             Gorai, T.; Maitra, U. ACS Sensors 2016, 1, 934; J. Mater. Chem. B 2018, 6, 2143.

7.             Laishram, R.; Maitra, U. Asian J. Org. Chem. 2017, 6, 123.

8.             Bhowmik, S.; Maitra, U. Chem. Commun. 2012, 48, 4624.


Speaker's Bio: Prof. Uday Maitra received his Ph.D. from Columbia University, New York in 1986, with Prof. Ronald Breslow. He did Postdoctoral research work at the University of California at Berkeley 1986-87, with Prof. Paul A. Bartlett. He worked at IIT Kanpur for about a year (1988-89) before joining his current position as Professor at the Department of Organic Chemistry in Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He has received several awards and honors to name a few, Dr. Darshan Ranganathan Memorial Lecture, CRSI, IIT Kanpur, 2019; Acharya P.C. Ray Memorial Lecture, NIIST, Thiruvananthapuram, 2018; Bawa Kartar Singh memorial Lecture, Panjab University, 2017; Alumni Award for Excellence in Research, IISc Bangalore, 2017; National Best Chemistry Teacher Award, JNCASR, 2015; Silver Medal, Chemical Research Society of India, 2012; Materials Research Society of India Medal, 2009; Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy, 2009; J.C. Bose National Fellowship, 2008; A.V. Rama Rao Foundation Prize Lecture, JNCASR, 2007; CDRI Drug Research Award, 2006. He is also a Member of the International Advisory Board, Chem. Soc. Rev., He is an Editorial Board Member of Asian J. Org. Chem., a Member of American Chemical Society, Royal Society of Chemistry and National Representative of IUPAC Committee on Chemical Education.


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