Many biosensors used in point-of-care devices suffer from selectivity and sensitivity limitations that restrict their application in detecting and monitoring infectious diseases (such as HIV and certain cancers). To mitigate these limitations, a new electrochemical biosensor with high sensitivity and selectivity will be developed. The improvement in selectivity and sensitivity will be realized through packing nanostructures between electrodes to generate high shear forces. The expected outcome is a biosensor which detects, identifies and quantifies multiple breast cancer biomarker proteins at very low concentrations. The related science opens exciting new avenues such as electrochemical measurements for the detection of opioids in water and the development of new manufacturing techniques for therapeutic drugs. The principal investigator will seek close integration among research, experiments and education. The PI will train the next generation of scientists and engineers who are interested in the area of biosensing technology, and mentor researchers (including minorities and female) at undergraduate and graduate level, as well as inspire K-12 students in science and engineering fields at the early stage of their learning career through hands-on demonstrations. Biosensors for early diagnostics of infectious diseases or cancer are vitally important for early intervention, patient care, and reduction of patient mortality. Current biosensors often fail at low concentrations, as they are not sufficiently sensitive (to prevent false-negatives) nor selective (to prevent false-positives). The overall objective of this project is to develop a new electrochemical sensing method that uses a shear-enhanced, flow-through, nanoporous and capacitive electrode technology, resulting in a very sensitive and selective biosensor. The performance of new biosensor will exceed that of current biosensors as (i) the electrode nanoporosity will facilitate the development of shear forces of the order of a hydrogen bond that will significantly increase selectivity by mitigating non-specific adsorption; (ii) the design of the biosensor will negate signal artifacts such as the parasitic double layer capacitance, thus facilitating rapid, high-resolution characterization of the binding signal with a significant reduction in noise leading to increased sensitivity; and (iii) the nanoporous electrode architecture will increase convective transport of the analyte of interest to the sensing element, thus overcoming diffusion limitations and reducing assay times. To facilitate the development of the biosensor, the PI will investigate, analyze and model the electrochemical response of the biosensor from the binding of a single species of target biomolecule to its complementary biological sensing element. The effects of physiochemical characteristics of the nanoporous capacitive electrode along with the enhanced shear forces will be studied in detail. A multiplexed electrochemical characterization method will be developed to test for breast cancer biomarker panel using real-world, complex samples and to validate the biosensor technology against commercial assays. The multidisciplinary nature of this project will be used to train students at all levels in laboratory and experimental techniques, and increase the likelihood that they would choose interdisciplinary research as a career path. This outreach effort will harness social media, leverage our existing educational relationships, and include classroom demonstrations, teacher training, and educational peer-mentored conference with NJIT Honors College. Among the target populations of this STEM awareness campaign are inner-city high schools in the locales of Newark, NJ and Union, NJ that primarily serve largely underrepresented student bodies. Statistical training workshops and related tools will be also developed for graduate students to increase statistical evidence-based training. Validated assessment tools will be used to evaluate the success of these outreach and educational activities.This award reflects National Science Foundation 's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
|Effective start/end date||9/1/18 → 8/31/23|
- National Science Foundation