How we do it?

Our devices harness the following principles to achieve signal transduction at the nano/bio interface:

(1) Micro- and nanofluidics for bio-particle analysis: Microfluidic systems enable fast and highly parallel platforms for high-throughput analysis of phenomena. Additionally, the prevailing laminar flow conditions enable controlled translation of bio-particles. Finally, the confinement of biosystems within nanofluidic devices enables almost instantaneous diffusion and overlapping electrical double layers.

(2) Electrokinetics and magnetics for bio-particle preconcentration: Electrokinetics is based on manipulating the electrical double layer around bio-particles and micro/nanostructures to cause controlled translation. This can be achieved through DC fields, to cause electrophoresis and electro-osmosis; or through AC fields, to cause dielectrophoresis and electrothermal flow; or through application of nanostructures, to cause diffusional flow due to concentration gradients. The electrical field can be caused by optical methods too. Finally, microfluidic devices to cause magnetic dipoles for manipulation of magnetically labeled nanoparticles are an emerging strength in our group.

(3) Electrical and optical signal transduction: Our devices include electrical and/or optical functionalities to enable sensing of bio-recognition events. Examples include label-free techniques, such as, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, dielectric spectroscopy, electro-rotation and electrical transport based on field-effect transistors. Alternatively, label-based methods, such as, fluorescence techniques utilizing off-chip CCDs for microscopy or on-chip photodetectors for spectroscopy, as well as electrochemical voltammetry techniques are applied.

(4) Signal and image processing: Understanding signal characteristics are an essential part of resolving the recognition event and deconvoluting the successive stages. For this we rely on electromagnetic simulations within micro/nanofluidic platforms and time-domain techniques.

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