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Special Bioengineering Seminar: Daniel Heller
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
11:00 a.m.
Room 5112 Plant Sciences Building
For More Information:
Professor Benjamin Shapiro

Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Optical Biosensor Technologies

Daniel Heller
Damon Runyon Fellow
Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Real-time, spatially resolved detection and identification of analytes in biological media, and at the single-molecule level, present worthy goals for nanoscale sensors. Encapsulation of single-walled carbon nanotubes in synthetic polymers and biopolymers creates a handle for the transduction of analyte binding. By wrapping nanotubes with short sequences of ssDNA, reactive oxygen species (ROS) are detected via DNA chemistry in the vicinity of the nanotube. Nitroaromatic compounds, such as pesticides, can be detected by the conformational change of a peptide upon binding to the analyte. In both cases, analyte identification is possible by observing variations in the nanotube’s spectral response, resulting in distinctive optical fingerprints. Nanotubes undergo wavelength and intensity modulation, permitting identification of analytes which are difficult to differentiate via conventional methods, such as certain types of ROS. The analyte responses can be spatially mapped in live cells and tissues, measured with sensitivity down to the single-molecule level, and detected in real-time, facilitating new and unprecedented biological measurements.

This Event is For: Graduate • Faculty • Post-Docs

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