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University of Hawaii

Electrical Engineering

Nanostructure-enabled platforms for molecular analysis and live cell study

Date: 2019-12-09           Add to Google Calendar
Time: 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Location: Holmes Hall 389
Speaker: Dr. Chia-Fu Chou, Academia Sinica, Taiwan


Given their simplicity in geometry, nanostructures, such as nanofluidic channels and electrode nanogaps, nevertheless offer unique platforms for the study of molecular and cellular biophysics and biosensing applications. In recent years, we have developed a few nanostructure-enabled platforms for the manipulation and analysis of biomolecules and single cells: (1) micro-to-nanofluidic junctions for the study of entropy-driven single DNA tug-of war system [1], single molecule protein mapping along DNA backbone [2], and cell entry study in confined space [3]; (2) sub-30 nm insulating nanoconstriction, serving as molecular dam operating under the balance of negative dielectrophoresis (DEP), electrophoresis, and electroosmosis, enables protein enrichment of 105-fold in 20 seconds [4], which can then be coupled with graphene-modified electrodes for sensitive electrochemical detection of peptides, cancer biomarkers, and cortisol [5-7]; (3) an array of electrode nanogaps with sub-10 nm gap size may function as templates for AC DEP-based molecular trapping, plasmonic hot spots for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy as well as electronic measurements, and fluorescence imaging, demonstrated with protein R-phycoerythrin [8] and Alzheimer’s disease candidate biomarkers A-beta 40 and 42 peptides; (4) periodic micro-nanofluidic junctions may be used to study physical stress-induced morphological plasticity of bacteria [9] and the protein oscillators regulating the cell division site placement; and (5) a sub-nanoliter fluidic nanochannels is developed on germanium crystal for attenuated total reflection infrared (ATR-IR) spectroscopy for ultralow volume molecular characterization [10]. Our platforms open up simple ways for molecular and cellular biophysics study with the applications in molecular analysis and diagnostics.

Prof. Dr. Chia-Fu Chou:  Laboratory of Nanobioscience, Institute of Physics; Adjunct Fellow, Genomics Research Center & Research Center for Applied Science;  Academia Sinica, Taiwan