- "Naked eye" color detection of proteins was achieved by embedding calixarene receptors within vesicles comprising phospholipids and the chromatic polymer polydiacetylene. Dramatic visible absorbance changes were induced through electrostatic interactions between the protein surface and the vesicle-incorporated hosts. The colorimetric responses could be induced by micromolar protein concentrations, and furthermore, specific protein fingerprints could be obtained by incorporating different receptors within the vesicles. Fluorescence and circular dichroism experiments confirmed the relationship between the colorimetric phenomena and protein docking on the surface of the chromatic vesicles. The colorimetric assay constitutes a generic platform for high-sensitivity detection of soluble proteins and for evaluation of protein surface charge distribution.