New Metal Nanoparticle-Based Biosensors & Bioresponsive Materials for Diagnostics and Molecular-Scale Technologies

Speaker: Roger Molto Pallares
Affiliation: Postdoctoral Scholar, University College London

Abstract: Metal nanoparticles (MNPs) have been successful used in a wide range of biomedical applications, such as diagnostics and therapy, because of their unique optical and electronic properties. Regarding their application in diagnostics, MNP-based biosensors are facing new challenges, such as the discovery of novel circulating cancer biomarkers (e.g. cell-free DNA), which require sensitivities and limits of detection that cannot be achieved by traditional approaches. The low reliability for low analyte concentrations near the limit of detection is a common problem in analytical chemistry. Current solutions such as signal amplification involving enzymatic reactions and/or labelling the analyte with large tags increase the complexity of the designs and resource investment as it is very difficult to increase the signal-to-noise ratio due to the amplified back-ground signal.  In the first part of my talk, I will explain a new MNP-based bioassay for circulating cell-free DNA with inverse sensitivity, i.e. the lower the analyte concentration, the higher the response intensity. This provides high accuracy for low concentration detection with a tunable dynamic range, making it suitable for monitoring the cell-free DNA levels associated with a wide range of cancer types.

In the second part of my talk, I will present our latest work in the field of bioresponsive materials, where a hybrid system made of gold nanorods-DNA has been designed to study the sequence-specific binding between DNA and transcription factors (i.e. proteins that up or down regulate gene transcription by binding to short sequences of DNA called response elements). This system has been further expanded to build a versatile multi-logic gate platform, capable of performing six different logic operations by mimicking transcription factor’s gene regulation. Finally, the use of alternative plasmonic nanomaterials, such as graphene oxide, for sensing and bioinspired materials will also be discussed.

Biography: Roger Molto Pallares received his B.Sc and M.Sc degrees in chemistry from the Ramon Llull University (Barcelona, Spain) in 2009 and 2011, respectively. After a year working in the growth of 2D dimensional nanomaterials at NTT Basic Research Laboratories (Atsugi, Japan), he started a joint doctoral program between the University College London (UCL, London, UK) and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (Singapore). He obtained a PhD in materials science from UCL in 2016. His research interests focus on the use of nanomaterials for bioresponsive and biomedical applications.

For more information, contact Prof. Aydogan Ozcan ()

Date(s) - Nov 04, 2016
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

E-IV Tesla Room #53-125
420 Westwood Plaza - 5th Flr., Los Angeles CA 90095