Ultrasensitive Bioelectronic Tongue Based on the Venus Flytrap Domain of a Human Sweet Taste Receptor

Jin Young Jeong, Yeon Kyung Cha, Sae Ryun Ahn, Junghyun Shin, Yoonji Choi, Tai Hyun Park, Seunghun Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Sweet taste is an important factor that regulates calorie intake and contributes to food preferences in humans and animals. Therefore, the evaluation of sweet substances is essential for various fields such as healthcare, food, and pharmaceutical industries. Sweet tastants are detected by sweet taste receptors which are class C G-protein-coupled receptors. T1R2 venus flytrap (VFT) of the sweet taste receptor is known as a primary ligand-binding domain for sweet tastants. In this study, we developed an ultrasensitive artificial sweet taste bioelectronic tongue based on the T1R2 VFT of a human sweet taste receptor. Here, the T1R2 VFT of a human sweet taste receptor was successfully overexpressed in a bacterial expression system. A T1R2 VFT-immobilized carbon nanotube field-effect transistor with floating electrodes was exploited as an artificial sweet taste sensory system. Significantly, our T1R2 VFT-functionalized bioelectronic tongue could be used to detect solutions of sweet tastants down to 0.1 fM and selectively discriminate sweet substances from other taste substances. Furthermore, our device could be used to monitor the response of the T1R2 VFT domain of a sweet taste receptor to sweet substances in real food environments such as apple juice and chamomile herb tea. Moreover, our device was used to evaluate the inhibition and enhancement effects on sweet taste receptors by zinc ions and chamomile tea, respectively. In addition, our device demonstrated long-term storability and reusability. In this respect, our sweet taste bioelectronic tongue could be a promising tool for various basic research and industrial applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2478-2487
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number2
StatePublished - 19 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Chemical Society


  • G-protein-coupled receptor
  • bioelectronic sensor
  • carbon nanotube
  • field-effect transistor
  • human sweet taste receptor
  • sweet taste sensor
  • venus flytrap


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