Functional self-assembling bolaamphiphilic polydiacetylenes as colorimetric sensor scaffolds

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation; Department of Cell Biology

Publication Date


Document Type



Polymers; Polyacetylenes


Orthopedics | Rehabilitation and Therapy


Conjugated polymers capable of responding to external stimuli by changes in optical, electrical, or electrochemical properties can be used for the construction of direct sensing devices. Polydiacetylene-based systems are attractive for sensing applications due to their colorimetric response to changes in the local environment. Here we present the design, preparation, and characterization of self-assembling functional bolaamphiphilic polydiacetylenes (BPDAs) inspired by nature's strategy for membrane stabilization. We show that by placing polar headgroups on both ends of the diacetylene lipids in a transmembranic fashion and by altering the chemical nature of the polar surface residues, the conjugated polymers can be engineered to display a range of radiation-, thermal-, and pH-induced colorimetric responses. We observed dramatic nanoscopic morphological transformations accompanying charge-induced chromatic transitions, suggesting that both side-chain disordering and main-chain rearrangement play important roles in altering the effective conjugation lengths of the poly(ene-yne). These results establish the foundation for further development of BPDA-based colorimetric sensors.

DOI of Published Version



J Am Chem Soc. 2004 Jul 14;126(27):8459-65. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of the American Chemical Society


At the time of publication, Jie Song was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID