We explore fundamental and practical limits to technology for biomolecular detection. Current research in the group focuses on the question: How close together can two electrochemical biosensors be and still report accurate results?
This is an experimental group, but projects in spring 2022 will focus on simulations and modeling. Students will have the opportunity to work on one or both of the following projects:
Project 1: Advancing the density of biosensing arrays on neurochemical probes. For neural sensing applications, smaller probes means less damage to the brain. This motivates our efforts to reduce the spacing between biosensors. However, when the spacing between sensors is reduced, H2O2 generated on one sensor can diffuse to a nearby sensor leading to a false positive detection event. We’ve developed enzymatic methods to reduce this chemical cross-talk. The student working on this project will make use of random walk simulations to understand, validate, and improve our approach.
Project 2: Understanding the effects of flow on chemical cross-talk in biosensor assays under flow conditions (lateral flow assays): When biochemical assays are performed in the presence of flow, the flow significantly increases the length scales over which chemical cross-talk leads to false-positive results. My team has explored this effect through both simulations and experiments on our existing biosensor arrays. The student working on this project will extend this investigation to geometries and flow rates of specific interest to lateral flow assays. Including direct comparison of simulated results with experimental data from the literature.
Projects focused on extending these results with experimental validation may be possible in Summer 2022.
Essay prompt: What interests you most about the project, what do you hope to get out of the research project and how does it fit with your long term goals? What skills do you bring to the group and to the project?
You are interested in modeling complex systems at the interface between physics and bioengineering in order to better understand and advance the limits of current biosensing technology. The two proposed projects are designed to have strong overlap to encourage collaborative efforts.