Nano/Micro-Technology based Approaches for Biosensing and Cell-Sheet Engineering

Janos Voros 

ETH Zürich, Laboratory of Biosensors and Bioelectronics (ETHZ), Gloriastrasse 35, Zürich 8092, Switzerland


Micro- and nanotechnology brought new exciting possibilities in life sciences. In this talk, the following novel approaches will be presented:

1. A key challenge in high-throughput screening is to make the methods compatible with the fragile membrane proteins. Membrane proteins are fragile and difficult to handle, but also highly important drug targets. The combination of microfabrication, and DNA-assisted self-assembly enabled the arraying of functional biomembranes opening the possibility for their high-throughput screening.1,2

2. An equally important challenge is to push the sensitivity of optical biosensors to the ultimate limit of being able to detect single molecule binding events. Nanotechnology provides new, exciting possibilities through the special physical properties of nanoobjects. For example, gold nanoparticles exhibit special optical properties that can be utilized to monitor single molecule binding events such as DNA hybridization.3,4

3. Materials that can response to external electrical stimuli are interesting for a variety of biomedical applications: We have developed electrochemically active polyelectrolyte multilayers that can act as nanoactuators using low potentials in a liquid environment.5 Other multilayers can be used as a sacrificial film for the harvesting of intact cell-sheets. This enables the creation of controlled 3D cell cultures that are expected to better represent the in vivo situation for e.g. drug testing experiments.6


[1] M. Bally, K. Bailey, W. Leifert, J. Vörös, T. McMurchie; G-Protein Coupled Receptor array technologies: Site Directed Immobilisation of liposomes containing the H1-histamine or M2-muscarinic receptors; Proteomics, 2009. (In press)

[2] A. Binkert, P. Studer, J. Vörös; A microwell array platform for picoliter membrane protein assays; Small, 2009. (In press)

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Presentation: Invited oral at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2009, Symposium F, by Janos Voros
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2009

Submitted: 2009-05-20 14:07
Revised:   2009-06-30 20:44
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