Design and Application of Electronic Nanobiosensors
Electronic components have reached such a level of miniaturisation that it is now possible to build circuits in sizes comparable to that of biological macromolecules, such as DNA and proteins. Our research unit uses the most advanced nanomanufacturing techniques to assemble ultra-miniature electronic sensors (nanobiosensors) with which it is possible to isolate individual macromolecules and to perform real-time measurements of their interactions. Fluctuations in the electric current of those devices enable us to detect a succession of chemical reactions, molecular interactions and/or conformational changes in a single macromolecule, while covering a broad spectrum of temporal ranges. The direct observation of molecular dynamics is particularly promising in decoding local and non-collective interactions, which characterize biological molecules, with the aim to improve our understanding of the basic biochemical mechanisms governing human health and diseases.
Our research unit is specifically concerned with the dynamics of the interactions within nucleic acids, enzymatic catalysis, and identification of biomarkers through antibody-based electronic tests. Our approach is highly multidisciplinary, combining researchers and techniques from various fields including biophysics; engineering physics; bioengineering; analytical and physical chemistry; biochemistry; and nanoelectronics. Our goal is to develop electronic nanobiosensors into an affordable, compact and multifunction biomedical analysis technology to equip researchers and clinicians in the fields of immunology and oncology.