Continuous in vivo and in vitro metabolite detections are becoming of enormous interest for a large number of bioengineering applications, such as bioprocess control and optimization or diagnosis of metabolic diseases that can be substantially prevented by prompt biological detection.
Electrochemistry and, in particular, bioelectrochemistry represent a new frontier in metabolic analysis directly performed in living systems by using smart biosensing prototypes. The great advantage in using bioelectrochemical sensor is related to the intrinsic properties of electrical signaling and the possibility of realizing micro- and nano-structured interfaces.
Miniaturization of bioelectrochemical sensors may show many peculiar advantages such as high deterministic hydrododynamics, reduced amount of reagents and wasting products, small time response and integration with optical analyses. In this context, microfluidic technology will allow exploiting biosensor fabrication and metabolite detection by nano-liter volume manipulation.

In our laboratory we are focusing on three different main tasks:

a) nanostructuring electrodes

b) optically-transparent electrode development

c) electrochemical microfluidic chip realization

 

Nanostructuring electrodes can be an effort for optimizing electron mobility to and from conductive surfaces, like gold surfaces that can be covalently modified with carbon nanotubes, graphene sheets or other smart objects.

forest

Single-walled carbon nanotube forest on gold electrodes.

Optically-transparent electrode development has been considered essential for integrating optical measurements to electrical ones. In bio-world where transparency is essential for monitoring cells, realizing electroconductive interfaces is of paramount importance for realizing electrophysiological systems or electrochemical biosensing devices.

immunosensor

Immunosensor realized starting from a biotin-modified Fluorine-doped Tin Oxide (FTO) substrate.

The final goal of our lab is to develop a fully automatized micronized biosensing system in order to integrate such biosensors within microfluidic cell cultures. The electrochemical microfluidic chip realization is straightforward for fulfilling this point.

electrochemical chip

Electrochemical microfluidic chip for biosensing

Contact

Office: +39-049-827-5469
Lab (DII): +39-049-827-5467
Lab (VIMM): +39-049-7923-219
Fax: +39-049-827-5461
nicola.elvassore@unipd.it

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