Research Categories

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

NameResearch Interests
Dr Alessandra BonanniBiosensor technologies Biosensors are analytical tools which combine a biorecognition agent which provides selectivity and a transducer that confers sensitivity and can convert the biorecognition event into a measurable electronic signal. The advantage of using biosensor over traditional techniques is represented by their low costs, small dimensions, portability, and fast response. The different areas for potential biosensor applications are mainly medical diagnosis, environmental monitoring and food analysis. DNA analysis DNA analysis is of extreme importance to solve problems of different nature such as investigation on genetic diseases, detection of food and water contamination by microorganism, studies on breeding origins or tissue matching, and solution of forensic issues. The techniques for genome identification are nowadays mainly based on DNA sequencing by using fluorescent labels and optical detectors. They require a few days for the analysis to be completed and the costs are prohibitive to the general public. Demand has never been greater for innovative technologies which can provide fast, inexpensive and reliable genome information. The focus of my research is on the development of analytical tools (biosensors) for the rapid, reliable and low cost identification of DNA sequences. In order to achieve that, different electrochemical techniques are used for the detection of the analytical signal. The developed biosensors are based on various platforms (such as gold, carbon and silicon) and different nanomaterials (i.e. gold nanoparticles, graphene nanoplatelets and several quantum dots) are employed for the amplification of the obtained signal and the improvement of detection limit. The final step of this work is the application of the developed genosensor to real sample analysis. Once this second part is successfully accomplished, the analytical tool could be eventually integrated into a DNA amplification process, resulting in a portable device for point-of-care diagnostic tests and for very sensitive detection of SNPs correlated to different diseases. Food Analysis This field includes research in the two following areas: - Application of DNA genosensors to identify of DNA sequences correlated to bacteria involved in food contamination (i.e. Salmonella spp, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli) - Development of electrochemical biosensors for the detection of antioxidant capacity of food and beverages
Vg Assoc Prof Anatoly Zinchenko1. Application of DNA as a material 2. DNA structure and bioactivity in bio-mimetic systems 3. Environmental applications of polyelectrolytes
Assoc Prof Atsushi GotoPolymer Chemistry and Polymer Materials 1) Controlled syntheses of polymers 2) Development of new living radical polymerization via organic catalysis 3) Creation of new advance polymer materials using structurally controlled polymers
Prof Atul N. ParikhMembrane biophysics biologically inspired materials biosensors synthetic chemical biology
Asst Prof Bae Tae-Hyun1. Chemistry of materials - nanoporous materials including zeolites, mesoporous materials and metal-organic frameworks - thin films and nanocomposite membranes 2. Environmental technology - CO2 capture - water treatment 3. Molecular separaitons in chemical processes - hydrocarbon separations - gas separations
Prof Bo Gunnar LiedbergThe research interests of Prof. Bo Liedberg can be divided into three main areas Surface Chemistry and Self Assembled Monolayers This part of the research concerns fundamental studies of adsorbates and ultrathin molecular architectures, like Self-Assembled Monolayers (SAMs), on solid supports. The group was very early in studying self-assembly of substituted alkylthiols on gold substrates. A key activity has been to study temperature driven phenomena occurring in such assemblies as well as in adsorbed layers on top such SAMs. Oligo(ethylene glycol) and oligosaccharide SAMs have attracted considerable attention, both experimentally and theoretically, because of their structural characteristics and advantageous properties in contact with biofluids. Another area concerns interfacial water and ice. Temperature programmed studies have been undertaken to improve the understanding of the nucleation and microscopic wetting behavior of water/ice. The complexity of the SAMs has increased over the years and we are today focusing on architectures based on SAMs bearing multivalent chelator heads, helix-loop-helix polypeptides and receptor functions. Bioinspired and Biomimetic Nanoscience This research concerns the development of nanoscale architectures fabricated using either top-down or bottom-up protocols (or a combination of both). We are, for example, developing plasmonic arrays based on 100 nm gold nano dots on silicon and glass surface for amplification of optical fluorescence signals, so-called metal enhanced fluorescence (MEF). We are also developing composite materials based on a combination of de novo designed peptide scaffolds, planar surfaces and nanoparticles of controlled size and shape. A novel concept based on peptide folding has been used for controlled assembly of gold nanoparticles. The group is also involved in the development of Dip Pen Nanolithography (DPN) for patterning of surfaces on the 30-100 nm length scale. This work is performed jointly with a previous student of the group who nowadays is setting up a nanolaboratory at the Institute of Physics, Vilnius. We are also involved in several EC projects where different types of micro- and nanoscale patterning tools are employed for production of coatings for biofouling, sensing and biomedical applications. Optical Biosensors, micro- and nanoarrays The group has a long experience in developing optical transducers for biosensing application. We were the first to demonstrate the use of surface plasmon resonance for studies of bioaffinity interactions at surfaces, a technology that today form the backbone in SPR/Biacore instruments developed for biospecific interaction analysis (BIA). We are today using it in combination with ellipsometric interrogation and imaging optics for microarraying, and in combination with nanoparticle for studies optical enhancement phenomena. This includes, for example, microarray chips for protein multiplexing. The group is also working on the development of generic biochips for studies of ligand-receptor binding. Besides working on microarray fabrication for protein detection and analysis we are also developing biochips for the safety and security area. Selected publications 1. Tinazli, A., Tang, J., Valiokas, R., Picuric, S., Lata, S., Piehler, J., Liedberg, B., Tampe, R., Chem. Eur. J. 11, 5249-5259 (2005). 2. Aili, D., Enander, K., Tai, F-I., Baltzer, L., Liedberg, B., Angew. Chem., 120, 5636-5638 (2008). 3. Aili, D., Enander, K., Baltzer, L., Liedberg, B., Nano Letters, 8, 2473-2478 (2008). 4. Andersson, O., Ulrich, C., Björefors, F., Liedberg, B., Sensors&Actuators B: Chemical, 134, 545-550 (2008). 5. Klenkar, G., Liedberg, B., Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 391, 1679-1688 (2008). 6. Aili, D., Selegård. R., Baltzer, L., Enander, K., Liedberg, Small, 5, 2445-2452 (2009). 7. Lee, H.-H., Ruzele, Z., Malysheva, L., Onipko, A., Gutes, A., Björefors, F., Valiokas, R., Liedberg, B., Langmuir, 25(24), 13959–71 (2009).
Assoc Prof Cai WenjianProf Cai's areas of expertise are system modelling, control and optimization, multivariable system identification and control, sensor and instrumentation, mechanical system simulation and design, and intelligent systems. His current research works focus on industry applications in building HVAC processes, renewable energy processes and environmental processes.
Prof Chan Bee Eng, MaryDr Chan-Park has interest and expertise in nanoimprint, micro- and nano-patterning, biomaterials, tissue engineering and carbon nanotubes. She has published more than 80 journal papers and holds more than 15 patents/patent applications in these areas. She has supervised more than 12 PhD students and 15 postdoctoral fellows.
Assoc Prof (Adj) Charles William JohannesMy research is focused on employing enantioselective methodologies and synthetic natural product strategies in the development of a Diversity Oriented Synthesis (DOS) approach to generate innovative chemical matter for novel therapeutic medicines.
Asst Prof Chen GangThe overall goal of my research group is to employ cutting-edge biophysical techniques to better understand the structures and the physical-chemical properties of RNAs and RNA-ligand complexes to provide deeper insight into and to facilitate precise control of the diverse biological functions involving RNA. We aim to use the fundamental knowledge to fight neurodegenerative diseases, cancers, bacterial and viral infections by designing and discovering novel therapeutic ligands targeting RNA. To approach the challenging goals, we have assembled a multidisciplinary team with expertise ranging from molecular biophysics, structure biology, computation, chemical synthesis, cell biology, to medical healthcare. The research projects of current interests are: (1) characterizing the molecular recognition interactions (e.g., hydrogen bonding and aromatic base stacking) accounting for structure, stability, and dynamics of RNA structural building blocks such as internal loops, hairpins, triplexes, and pseudoknots, (2) probing the complex energy landscapes of RNA folding and assembly with protein, (3) designing and discovering therapeutic ligands (small molecules, oligonucleotides, peptides, peptide nucleic acid, etc.) targeting RNA, (4) developing nucleic acid based biosensors to rapidly detect toxic/pathogenic agents in food products and human body, and (5) discovering and characterizing novel nucleic acid based catalysts for important organic and inorganic reactions at mild conditions. We employ various conventional and cutting-edge biophysical and biochemical techniques including laser optical tweezers, NMR, UV-Vis, fluorescence, SPR, gel electrophoresis, PCR, chemical synthesis of modified oligonucleotides and peptides, in vitro transcription, protein expression, and cell culture assay. The research experience in the laboratory will help the students to grasp fundamental knowledge and experimental skills, to develop learning skills such as rigorous reasoning and innovative thinking, and to be able to ask and answer important questions within and beyond chemical and molecular sciences. Selected Representative Publications: Lihua Zhang, Hua Liu, Yong Shao,* Clement Lin, Huan Jia, Gang Chen,* Danzhou Yang,* Ying Wang, (2015) Selective Lighting Up of Epiberberine Alkaloid Fluorescence by Fluorophore-Switching Aptamer and Stoichiometric Targeting of Human Telomeric DNA G-quadruplex Multimer, Anal Chem, 87, 730-7 Gitali Devi,= Yuan Zhou,= Zhensheng Zhong,= Desiree-Faye Kaixin Toh,= and Gang Chen,* (2015) RNA Triplexes – From Structural Principles to Biological and Biotech Applications. Wiley Interdiscip Rev RNA, 6, 111-28. (= These authors contributed equally to this work) Xing Ma,= Gitali Devi,= Qiuyu Qu, Desiree-Faye Kaixin Toh, Gang Chen,* Yanli Zhao,* (2014) Intracellular Delivery of Antisense Peptide Nucleic Acid by Fluorescent Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles, Bioconjugate Chem, 25, 1412-20. (= These authors contributed equally to this work) Gitali Devi, Zhen Yuan, Yunpeng Lu, Yanli Zhao,* and Gang Chen,* (2014) Incorporation of thio-pseudoisocytosine into triplex-forming peptide nucleic acids for enhanced recognition of RNA duplexes. Nucleic Acids Res, 42, 4008-18. Yuan Zhou, Elzbieta Kierzek, Zi Ping Loo, Meraldo Antonio, Yin Hoe Yau, York Wieo Chuah, Susana Geifman-Shochat, Ryszard Kierzek,* and Gang Chen,* (2013) Recognition of RNA duplexes by chemically modified triplex-forming oligonucleotides. Nucleic Acids Res 41, 6664-73. Tinoco, I., Jr., Chen, G., and Qu, X. (2010) RNA reactions one molecule at a time, in RNA Worlds, (Gesteland, R.F., Cech, T.R., and Atkins, J.F., Eds.), Cold Spring Harbor Labo