Much of the knowledge we have in biology and medicine is derived from the ability to detect analytes from complex biological samples. For this purpose, new bioanalytical tools are critically needed to push the frontiers of knowledge in life sciences. Micro- and nanotechnologies have started to impact many areas of biology and medicine by providing new sensing and analytical tools, novel means to pattern biomolecules on surfaces, and innovative systems to handle sub-microliter volumes of liquids. Boldly stated, miniaturization is good for biosciences.
As experts in micro/nanotechnology, we are interested in (1) developing novel miniaturized biosensing platforms and (2) applying them to important problems in biology. To achieve these goals, our expertise in micro/nanotechnology, surface chemistry and biochemistry is best utilized by working with experts in life sciences.
The main techniques we employ in our daily work are based on
- "Biopatterning," where proteins are patterned with very high accuracy onto surfaces to serve as receptors for analytes, and
- "Microfluidics," where minute volumes of liquid are utilized or analyzed.
Our current challenges deal with the detection of protein analytes from low volumes of sample with high sensitivity (micromosaic immunoassays), the rapid detection of disease markers in an accurate manner (chips for life), the investigation of inter cellular pathways that are relevant to diseases of the brain (brain chip), and the identification and addressing of specific cells on surfaces for diagnostic and research applications (microfluidic probe).