ECE Seminar with Cristina Boero

4:00 pm on Monday, November 5, 2012
Photonics Center, 8 Saint Mary’s St., Room 339
Electrochemical Biosensors for On-line Monitoring of Cell Culture Metabolism With Cristina Boero Laboratory of Integrated Systems École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland Faculty Hosts: Ayse Coskun and Carlos Lopez Refreshments will be served outside Room 339 at 3:45 p.m. Abstract: Current research in the biotechnological field is hampered by a lack of available technologies dedicated to cell monitoring. Real-time detection of metabolites can noticeably improve our knowledge about molecular biology when applied toward therapeutic purposes, as well as investigating several types of diseases. Electrochemical biosensors are the ideal candidates for cell monitoring, since they can be integrated with the electronic portion of the system, leading to high-density arrays of biosensors with better performance in terms of signal-to-noise ratio, sensor response, and sample volumes. The present research covers the design, fabrication, characterization, and validation of a minimally-invasive system for the real-time monitoring of different metabolites in a cell culture. The electrochemical biosensor consists of an array of gold working electrodes accomplished by standard microfabrication processes. The deposition of carbon nanotubes onto metallic electrodes confers superior performance (e.g. sensitivity) with respect to standard immobilization strategies, while the modification with enzymes ensures high selectivity for the target molecule to detect. Carbon nanotube-based biosensors and the system for real-time measurements are validated on two cell lines under different experimental conditions. The electronic system for electrochemical measurements is also designed and created with discrete components to be interfaced with the platform. The adopted architecture is able to optimally record the current ranges used in the electrochemical cell, while the wireless communication between the electronic system and the remote station ensures minimal invasiveness and high portability of the device. Existing technologies and materials are used in an original manner to achieve the on-line monitoring of metabolites in stem cell-like cultures, paving the way for the development of miniaturized, high-sensitive, and inexpensive devices for continuous cell monitoring. About the Speaker: Cristina Boero received her M.Sc. degree in biomedical engineering from Politecnico di Torino (Italy) in 2007. She is a PhD candidate at the Laboratory of Integrated Systems at EPFL (Switzerland), where she works with Professor Giovanni De Micheli. Her main interests are electrochemical biosensors and their structuration with nanomaterials. The goal of her research is the design, fabrication, characterization, and validation of a minimally invasive system for real-time monitoring of different metabolites in cell cultures. She is also interested in the functionalization of electrodes with nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotubes, and the interaction between proteins and nanostructures. She received the Gold Leaf Award at the PRIME conference in 2009.