To develop the next generation of point-of-care diagnostics, wearable and in vivo sensors, and continuous health monitoring systems, we are developing new strategies for integrating bio-recognition systems with electrochemical and photoelectrochemical sensors. We are detecting proteins, nucleic acids, and cells using simple, handheld, wearable, and implantable transducers. We are working within multi-disciplinary teams to apply these devices to the management of cancer and infectious diseases.
We are creating smart surfaces that are designed to repel contamination, perform sensing, and combine multiple of such functions together. For example, a class of such bio-inspired surfaces combine structures in the micro- to nano-scale to provide super-hydrophobicity and omniphobicity (repelling different classes of liquids) to reduce surface contamination with bacteria and viruses including SARS-CoV-2. We are continuing to build on these surfaces to make them more efficient, enable them to become broadly applicable to a wider range of contaminants, and to integrate them with medical devices and biosensors.
Multi-lengthscale materials, inspired by natural structures, are critical for use in biosensors and smart surfaces. We are developing new strategies for creating materials that are tunable from the nm to the mm lengthscale range for optimal interaction with biomolecules and cells and effective interaction with the outside world. We are combining techniques such as electrochemical deposition, smart polymer induced wrinkling, and nanoparticle self-assembly to develop application-specific materials rapidly on the laboratory benchtop.