Bio-Nanosensors Research Group - Research

Our research focuses on developing nano- and microfluidic chips for protein screening employing nanopore- and nanochannel-translocation technology. We aim to push screening sensitivity, reliability and flexibility to their maximum by enabling single-protein detection, characterization and design while at the same time dramatically decreasing the cost and time of protein testing.

Experimental Research

Experimental work in our lab is highly interdisciplinary. Areas of research include but are not limited to Nanofabrication, Interface Chemistry, Synthetic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Electrochemistry, Materials Science, Nano- and Microfluidics, Proteomics, and Medical Engineering.

Fluid cell nanopore

Computational Simulations and Modelling

Simulations and computational modeling guide experimental work at every stage and in every area of experimental research. Molecular modelling and molecular dynamics simulations help us to understand protein selection and interaction, nanopore functionalization and patterning, and protein translocation through functionalized nanopores. We also use computational modelling to investigate surface chemistry and dynamics, as well as interactions between solvent, proteins and the nanopore surface.

Screening Targets of Special Interest

Detecting specific proteins in samples and characterizing them in as much detail as possible is a core task of current and next-generation biosensor research. Applications range from nextgeneration drug screening and discovery, point-of-care medication, diagnostics, optogenetics, DNA-sequencing via testing of food for contamination and specific compounds to screening for biological warfare reagents. We believe applications in the area of Next-Generation Personalized Medicine are of exceptional interest and therefore focus on studying the types of targets listed below.

  • G-Protein Coupled Receptors
  • Tyrosine Kinases
Our Partners

Our research activities can be broken down into IBM-only research and collaborative research with external partners.

Our internal network includes the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory and the IBM Almaden Research Center. External partners include the University of Melbourne, the Melbourne Center for Nanofabrication, the Florey Neuroscience Institutes and the Australian Synchrotron.