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Posted: May 21, 2009
Nanoscale bioelectrical characterization
(Nanowerk News) The main goal of this research line at the Institut de Bioenginyeria de Catalunya is the development of experimental set ups based on Atomic Force Microscopy and of adequate theoretical frameworks to measure and understand the electrical properties of biological samples (e.g. biomembranes and single biomolecules) at the nanoscale. The objective of this research line is to assist in the development of new label free biological characterization methods and of new electronic biosensors.
Nanoscale dielectric imaging of a single layer of Purple Membrane on graphite. (a) Measured topography, (b) Measured local capacitance and (c) Dielectric constant image calculated from (a) and (b)
On the instrumental side we focus our research in (i) the development of electronic instrumentation for the realization of a variety of electric measurements at the nanoscale not available on commercial equipments such as small signal AC impedance measurements or electronic noise measurements, both in air and under liquid environments; (ii) the design and fabrication of Atomic Force Microscopy probes and sample holders specifically adapted to the proposed electric measurement techniques and environments; and (iii) the development of new measuring modes specific for the electric characterization of biological samples at the nanoscale.
As main applications of the developed experimental set ups we investigate (i) the supramolecular organization of native biological membranes at the nanoscale and (ii) single receptor-ligand binding processes in olfactory receptors and bacteriorhodopsin for biosensor applications.