This project aims to develop electrically controlled gates in nanofluidic channels. The gates operate through surface bound polymers that swell and contract reversibly in response to electrochemical potentials. Such gates will be permeable only to very small molecules and ions and can thus prevent practically any biomolecule of interest from passing through. The gates will enable control of the content in volumes of approximately one attoliter. In contrast to other entrapment technologies, the electrochemical gates are entirely non-invasive and impose hardly any constraints on the molecule to be trapped or the chemical environment. The project will consist of a nanotechnological part, where modern fabrication techniques will be used to prepare nanofluidic channels with incorporated electrodes that can act as nanoelectrical and nanooptical sensors. The other part of the project will be devoted to investigations of polymers that swell and contract in response to electrochemical potentials. The results from these two tasks will then be combined into operational electrochemical gates to be used in various applications. The gates can operate as filters and traps in various bioanalytical lab on a chip devices for single and few molecule analysis. The research has the potential to revolutionize diagnostic tools and biomolecular interaction studies by providing unsurpassed control of nanoscale chemistry and liquid handling.
Docent at Applied Physics, Bionanophotonics
Funding years 2012–2015