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ResearchslashSRA 04

Project 4.1.2: Resistivity-Based Microfluidic Biosensing

This project will develop small, potentially portable, novel biosensing that can allow the identification of pathogens and evaluate the health of soldiers. The methods will make use of the formation of conductive networks produced by DNA-directed assemblies with single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) and conduction through the interior of SWCNTs. Preliminary studies have shown promising sensitivities (10-15 molar) for DNA detection in simple systems and with directed sample delivery/processing provided by microfluidic devices higher performance will be achieved. Additionally, ion transport through the interior of carbon nanotubes has shown the potential to achieve single molecule detection. The DNA assembly methods are powerful and one goal of this research will be to utilize the microfluidic environment to assemble more complex assemblies of nanotubes. The recent use of the nanotube interior is also promising for analyte detection; however, this project will seek to understand its influence on SWCNT impedance for the first time. DNA origami concepts will be used to create complex networks in DNA channels that provide dramatically increased enhancements in sensitivity. Also, by substituting purified semiconducting SWCNT into the DNA-templated network, near infrared fluorescent modes can be created that have been shown to enable single molecule detection. This mode will allow us to study the influence of channel versus junction adsorption of the analyte, and also offer strategies for further reducing the detection limit. The initial focus will be applied on DNA detection; however, by making use of antibody conjugates this method should prove to be more general. Microfluidic devices will be developed as a critical platform for DNA-CNT assembly/detection as well as implementing and investigating CNT ion channel sensing. Once the methodology for creating high performance microfluidic devices are in hand we will seek to detect strategic protein biomarkers.


Project 4.1.2 Researchers

Prof. Timothy Swager, Department of Chemistry
Prof. Klavs Jensen, Department of Chemical Engineering
Prof. Michael Strano, Department of Chemical Engineering


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