Leuven | More than two weeks ago
Explore the next generation of nanopore sensors for extreme biomolecule sensitivity
The advantageous scalability and robustness of solid-state nanopore technology can be leveraged for the next generation of biosensors, but several challenges still need to be tackled, like the lack of sensitivity and the variability of sensitivity. A promising solution is the combination of a biological nanopore with a solid-state nanopore into a hybrid nanopore to endow solid-state pores with the high sensitivity of biological nanopores. In this master thesis, the student will investigate solid-state nanopores, biological nanopores and their combination into hybrid nanopores. Multiple aspects will be studied.
The surface of the solid-state nanopore will play an important role in the incorporation of the biological nanopore and in biosensing in general. Coatings such as Self-Assembled Monolayers (SAM), tethered lipid monolayers and Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) coatings are potential candidates. For a solid-state nanopore, coatings strongly impact the electroosmotic flow through the nanopore, the wetting of the nanopore and the anti-fouling properties that avoid unspecific interactions with biomolecules.
During the master thesis, the biological nanopore sensitivity will be characterized and compared to the solid-state nanopore sensitivity. Different types and methods of surface coatings for the surface functionalization of the solid-state nanopores will be investigated and optimized for biological nanopore incorporation and biosensing. The thesis will involve working in the cleanroom, bio-chemistry labs and on electrical characterization tools. Molecular sensitivity and the potential of obtaining hybrid nanopore molecular sensors will be investigated.Figure: Nanopore FET illustration. [Xie et al. Nature Nanotechnology vol. 7, p. 119–125 (2012).]
Type of project: Thesis, Internship, Combination of internship and thesis
Required degree: Master of Science, Master of Engineering Science
Required background: Bioscience Engineering, Chemistry/Chemical Engineering, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology
Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Juliette Gevers (Juliette.Gevers@imec.be) and Koen Martens (Koen.Martens@imec.be) and Pol Van Dorpe (Pol.VanDorpe@imec.be)