Biomolecular Sensors

Development of new tools for biomarker monitoring

The detection of a molecular analytes and use of this type of information for disease diagnosis and physiological monitoring requires methods with high sensitivity and specificity. We are developing new analytical methods with these properties that will permit the direct readout of nucleic acid sequences and protein biomarkers. Chip-based sensors made from nanomaterials play an important role in this effort, as detection sensitivity is greatly enhanced when measurements are performed at the nanoscale.  Our aim is to generate detection systems applicable to the diagnosis and management of a variety of disease states, ideally through the development of wearable and implantable sensors for continuous in vivo monitoring.

Drawing of biomolecular sensors

Molecular Pendulum Sensing

We recently developed a reagent-free sensing approach amenable to continuous monitoring of biomolecular species in vivo. The sensor architecture resembles a molecular pendulum that exhibits diffusional kinetics dependent on the complexation state of an appended antibody.

Microscopic view of cells

Nanostructured Surfaces for Electrochemical Sensing

Our work has demonstrated that nanostructured sensors yield higher levels of sensitivity and specificity relative to bulk electrode materials. Enhanced probe display and the accessibility of three-dimensional surfaces increase the efficiency of biomolecular complexation reactions.

Hybrid sensing systems

Hybrid Sensing Systems

With an eye towards addressing challenging real-world problems, we have developed many different types of sensors that integrate nanostructured materials with versatile reporter systems. Using elements of synthetic biology and enzymatic approaches to biomolecular detection, a variety of unique, high-performance systems were generated.

Learn More About Our Research

The projects underway involve aspects of diverse disciplines!