Boronic Acid-Based Dendrimers with Various Surface Properties for Bacterial Recognition with Adjustable Selectivity

Ayame Mikagi, Koichi Manita, Yuji Tsuchido, Nobuyuki Kanzawa, Takeshi Hashimoto, Takashi Hayashita*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The need for a selective bacterial recognition method is evident to overcome the global problem of antibiotic resistance. Even though researchers have focused on boronic acid-based nanoprobes that immediately form boronate esters with saccharides at room temperature, the mechanism has not been well studied. We have developed boronic acid-modified poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) dendrimers with various surface properties to investigate the mechanism of bacterial recognition. The boronic acid-based nanoprobes showed selectivity toward strains, species, or a certain group of bacteria by controlling their surface properties. Our nanoprobes showed selectivity toward Gram-positive bacteria or Escherichia coli K12W3110 without having to modify the boronic acid recognition sites. The results were obtained in 20 min and visible to the naked eye. Selectivity toward Gram-positive bacteria was realized through electrostatic interaction between the bacterial surface and the positively charged nanoprobes. In this case, the recognition target was lipoteichoic acid on the bacterial surface. On the other hand, pseudo-zwitterionic nanoprobes showed selectivity for E. coli K12W3110, indicating that phenylboronic acid did not recognize the outermost O-antigen on the lipopolysaccharide layer. Boronic acid-based nanoprobes with optimized surface properties are expected to be a powerful clinical tool to recognize multidrug-resistant strains or highly pathogenic bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5255-5263
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Bio Materials
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Nov 21


  • Escherichia coli
  • Gram-positive bacteria
  • bacterial recognition
  • boronic acid
  • dendrimer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biochemistry, medical


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