As potential high surface area for selective capture in diagnostic or filtration devices, biotin-cellulose nanofiber membranes were fabricated to demonstrate the potential for specific and bio-orthogonal attachment of biomolecules onto nanofiber surfaces. Cellulose acetate was electrospun and substituted with alkyne groups in either a one- or two-step process. The alkyne reaction, confirmed by FTIR and Raman spectroscopy, was dependent on solvent ratio, time, and temperature. The two-step process maximized alkyne substitution in 10/90 volume per volume ratio (v/v) water to isopropanol at 50 °C after 6 h compared to the one-step process in 80/20 (v/v) at 50 °C after 48 h. Azide-biotin conjugate “clicked” with the alkyne-cellulose via copper-catalyzed alkyne-azide cycloaddition (CuAAC). The biotin-cellulose membranes, characterized by FTIR, SEM, Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), and XPS, were used in proof-of-concept assays (HABA (4′-hydroxyazobenzene-2-carboxylic acid) colorimetric assay and fluorescently tagged streptavidin assay) where streptavidin selectively bound to the pendant biotin. The click reaction was specific to alkyne-azide coupling and dependent on pH, ratio of ascorbic acid to copper sulfate, and time. Copper (II) reduction to copper (I) was successful without ascorbic acid, increasing the viability of the click conjugation with biomolecules. The surface-available biotin was dependent on storage medium and time: Decreasing with immersion in water and increasing with storage in air.
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