The ability to continuously monitor biomolecular markers has the potential to revolutionize health care by allowing real-time monitoring of disease progression. Commercial sensors are available for continuous monitoring of glucose, but do not exist for other molecules that are important for monitoring disease status and treatment effect, including peptides, proteins, oligonucleotides, hormones, and drugs. The PhD student will develop single-molecule and continuous biosensing principles based on plasmonic nanoparticles and optical detection methods. The project involves the design of plasmonic sensing concepts, particle biofunctionalization strategies, and single-molecule microscopy. The newly developed sensors will enable the continuous monitoring of key inflammatory markers.Embedding
You will be part of the Molecular Plasmonics
group, which is embedded in the Molecular Biosensing
(MBx) group at the faculty of Applied Physics. We investigate nanotechnologies for single-molecule biophysical studies and biosensing applications. We focus on nanoplasmonic technologies based on particles with a biochemically active surface coating. The particles allow us to capture, detect and actively transport single biomolecules, and to quantify the properties of molecules in complex biological fluids. Main research activities in the lab focus on the functionalization and characterization at the single-molecule level (using e.g. super-resolution microscopy), and the development of novel single-molecule sensing concepts based on fluorescence and label-free detection principles. The consortium is completed by a strong network of partner industries and organizations and will provide excellent training to 15 PhD students, allowing them to develop professionally and perform world-class research to advance the field of biosensing.About Marie Curie ETN
The PhD project is part of CONSENSE, a European-wide Marie-Curie ETN program that combines advanced molecular engineering with tailored optical detection technologies to yield generic, affinity-based biosensing technologies (https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/955623
). Consense establishes a unique and well-structured training network with leading research labs from European universities and industry in the domain of biosensing. The 15 PhD students will form a research team that is embedded in leading industrial and academic R&D labs. This will bridge the gap between the various disciplines by uniting their research efforts to solve the challenges.