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Micro and nanostructured biorecognition systems for identification, measurements and patterning of the (bio)molecular and cellular interactions.

This topic represents the main pillar underpinning all other topics of research at the CBB. It assembles members with varied expertise in micro(nano)fabrication and background in the physics and engineering disciplines. Using Soft Lithography, Nanoimprinting, Electron-Beam Lithography and Hot Embossing, the aim is to feature the surface at the nanoscalewith high reproducibility and in large scale; this is believed to increase the sensitivity and specificity of biorecognition events at molecular and cellular levels. This topic also requires expertise in chemistry, physical chemistry and biology to develop universal, functional and targeted biointerfaces through surface molecular engineering or self assembly techniques compatible with the microfluidic platforms and detection methodologies. The fundamental understating of surface behaviour and its characterization is critical to facilitate the molecular and cellular interactions at the interface with high sensitivity and selectivity.

Development of techniques, protocols and tools for detection and quantification of molecular and cellular interactions.

For developing the transduction techniques, the CBB members’ focus is on four technologies: 1) the systems based on evanescence wave, i.e. surface plasmon resonance (SPR) which measures the light reflectivity as a result of the light interactions with the surface. 2) The SPR based detection using quantum dots as probes sensitive to voltage and evanescent wave changes for miniaturized and highly sensitive SPR systems and hybrid SPR-fluorescence microscopy, which consist of using the quantum dots as labelling tools and as intensifying the SPR signal to achieve the single molecule detection, are among the SPR technologies which are relevant to CBB members; 3) Microfluidics and microfluidic microarrys compatible with SPR, fluorescence detection for cell-based biosensors and for miniaturized bioassays of protein, DNA and RNA originated form mammalian, bacterial or vegetal cells and 4) electromagnetic and electronic transducers “MEMs” for the development of in-situ and in vivo nanorobotics.

Design and implantation of integrated biosensors, lab-on-a-chip, microfluidic devices for fundamental studies and diagnostics.

This entirely new theme stems from our previous accomplishments in the development of nanostructured biorecognition and transduction systems. The objective is to integrate the complex protocols into miniaturized “lab-on–a–chip” platforms which have the increased capabilities and allow working with reduced volume samples and reaction time. We propose to develop a microarray chip format, a digital microfluidics chip compatible with SPR and SPR imaging, FTIR detection, Scanning Near field Optical Microscopy (SNOM), fluorescence microscopy, MEMs, microgravimetry or micro calorimetry measurements. These platforms will be used for fundamental studies as well as for the analysis and diagnosis of a given biorecognition event; for instance, to model our microsystems, to study the fluid behaviour and molecular and cellular imprinting, to monitor the bacterial, cellular and molecular interactions or to perform toxicity assays and high throughput genomic and proteomic analyses.

Social impacts (NE3LS) of the CBB technological developments.

This research Axis aims to identify and analyze different levels of social impacts (positive and negative) related to certain technological developments foreseen in other Axes, at different levels of their development. In order to do this, the researchers will use the analytical instruments developed by the interdisciplinary research group InterNE3LS of which they are a part of. One of the functions of these instruments is to consider four dimensions (entered in the registry as themes) of the technological developments concerned. The interdisciplinary analyses conducted by this research Axis aim to clarify the principal ethical, economical, environmental social and legal impacts related to the technological developments foreseen and to support the most responsible actions possible.


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