Studies carried out in the Laboratory of Nanomaterials and Biosensors are focused on the construction of novel biosensors and miniaturized immunoassays for clinical diagnostics and environmental analysis. Our research activities cover the development of modern functional nanomaterials, as well as the use of advanced, label-free techniques for the characterization of intermolecular interactions.
One of our main research topics is the construction of biosensors and bioassays employing biomolecular affinity between receptor layer and analyte. In the developed biosensing platforms, antibodies and DNA oligonucleotides are typically applied, which enables detection and determination of numerous targets of great clinical importance. Complementarity of available, reporter-based and label-free techniques enables investigation of advanced kinetic and thermodynamic parameters of molecular interactions. The selection of molecular receptors for a specific application (bioanalytical, therapeutic), taking into account their affinity and selectivity can be also carried out.
The second topic covers the synthesis of functional nanoparticles for modern diagnostic methods developed in the framework of our research. Metallic nanoparticles (mainly gold and other noble metal nanoparticles) and metal oxide nanoparticles (e.g. iron(II,III) oxide superparamagnetic nanoparticles) conjugated with bioreceptors can found application as reporters in rapid and sensitive assays for the determination of important bioanalytes. Our research focuses primarily on developing new strategies for signal generation or amplification, which are based on unique optical/plasmonic properties of nanomaterials (e.g. anisotropic gold nanoparticles) and intrinsic enzyme-like activities (noble metal nanoparticles, core-shell and alloyed nanoparticles). Magnetic nanoparticles and hybrid, magnetic-catalytic nanostructures open up new possibilities in magnetic separation and analyte preconcentration for the improvement of analytical performance of the assay. Our scientific interests cover both the synthesis of functional nanostructures aimed at a specific bioanalytical or therapeutic applications, as well as the design and characterization of their surface properties.
The research carried out concerns:
- detailed characterization of interactions between bioreceptors (e.g. antibodies, DNA oligonucleotide probes and aptamers) with relevant targets (biomarkers of civilization diseases, viral antigens, serological markers, etc.),
- application of label-free techniques (SPR, QCM, switchSENSE® technology) in real-time characterization of molecular interactions,
- development of bioassays and biosensors with electrochemical and optical detection for the determination of clinically and environmentally relevant analytes,
- development of novel “enzyme-free” immunoassays using functional nanoparticle bioconjugates as catalytic labels,
- synthesis of metallic and metal oxide nanoparticles with unique optical and catalytic/magnetic properties,
- synthesis of functional bioconjugates of nanoparticles with receptors (proteins and nucleic acids),
- characterization of optical, catalytic and surface properties of monometallic, decorated and alloy-type nanoparticles,
- immunoassays on flexible substrates and their application in microfluidic systems
We are open to cooperation with research groups working on/interested in:
- detailed, comprehensive characterization of molecular interactions in various systems: protein – ligand, receptor – analyte, enzyme – inhibitor, etc.,
- development of immunoassays for selected analytes using high-throughput techniques (e.g. ELISA),
- production and purification of recombinant proteins (including functional proteins, e.g. antibodies and pathogen/disease biomarkers),
- obtaining monometallic, bimetallic and metal oxide nanoparticles (also anisotropic) with the desired optical, magnetic or catalytic properties and modified with selected ligands (including oligonucleotide bioreceptors and antibodies)
- characterization of nanoparticles and colloidal dispersions (hydrodynamic diameter, zeta potential) using dynamic light scattering (DLS)
- real-time studies of molecular interactions using label-free techniques (SPR, SPRi)