Ultrasensitive Biomolecular Detection

Advances in genomic and proteomic methods now allow classification of disease based on molecular profiling. The detection of a molecular analytes and use of this type of information for disease diagnosis requires methods with superior sensitivity and specificity, along with high-throughput. We are developing new analytical methods with these properties that will permit the direct readout of nucleic acid sequences and protein biomarkers. Novel technologies for ultrasensitive DNA, RNA, and protein sensing have been developed in our laboratories that use electrochemical methods for readout. Chip-based sensors made from nanomaterials play an important role in this effort, as detection sensitivity is greatly enhanced when measurements are performed at the nanoscale. We have also recently developed devices that capture rare cells with high efficiency.  Our aim is to generate detection systems applicable to the diagnosis of cancer, infectious disease and other disease states. Members of this project team fabricate devices, develop reporter assays and work with biological and clinical samples to validate new technologies. Substantial collaboration with engineers and clinical researchers is an important part of this project.

Featured publications:

"An Ultrasensitve, Universal Detector Based on Neutralizer Displacement." J. Das, K.B. Cederquist, P. Lee, E.H. Sargent, S.O. Kelley, Nature Chemistry, 2012, 4, 642. link

"Polymerase Chain Reaction-Free, Sample-to-Answer Bacterial Detection in 30 Minutes with Integrated Cell Lysis." B. Lam, Z. Fang, E.H. Sargent, S.O. Kelley, Analytical Chemistry, 2012, 84, 21. link

"Direct Genetic Analysis of Ten Cancer Cells: Tuning Molecular Probe Design for Efficient mRNA Capture" E. Vasilyeva, Z. Fang, M. Minden, E.H. Sargent, S.O. Kelley, Angewandte Chemie, 2011, 50, 4137. link

"Hierarchical Nanotextured Microelectrodes Overcome the Molecular Transport Barrier to Achieve Rapid, Direct Bacterial Detection"  L. Soleymani, Z. Fang, B. Lam, X. Bin, E. Vasilyeva, A. Ross, E.H. Sargent, S.O. Kelley, ACS Nano, 2011, 5, 3360. link

"Programming the Detection Limits of Biosensors through Controlled Nanostructuring. "  L. Soleymani, Z. Fang, E.H. Sargent, S.O. Kelley, Nature Nanotechnology, 2009, 4, 844. link

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