The main activities of the group are focused on the conception and elaboration of biofunctionnalized microdevices for biosensing , medical diagnosis and therapeutic applications.

For sensing applications, we design and engineer surfaces and layers, including recognizing (bio)molecule layers, well adapted to various electrochemical transducers (amperometric, conductometric, impedancemetric, etc.). The team has acquired a strong expertise in biomolecules and bacterial cells immobilization onto gold or carbon-based microelectrodes.

To improve the rapidity, sensitivity and robustness of the biosensors, different strategies are investigated by our group, i.e the use of innovative electrode materials, the integration of conducting nanomaterials (e.g. gold nanoparticles, magnetic beads, carbone nanotubes, metal/polymer nanofibers) as grafting platforms for enhanced bioreceptor loading, and the substitution of costful and fragile bioreceptors by molecular imprinted polymers or aptamers. Integration of the sensors into plate wells or microcanals is also under study for multiparameter analysis.

Using these original surface modification strategies, a number of DNA, enzyme, antibody and whole cell-based microbiosensors have been developed. They have been applied to the real-time, sensitive and selective detection of various target molecules of environmental, food or biological interest. One of our current projects focuses on ultra-sensitive detection of bacteria in water, food and biological fluids.

Regarding medical diagnosis and therapeutic applications, we propose an original strategy for the multi-functionalization of nano-sized silica particles (patent WO/2013/007944). Using this strategy, high densities of DNA, aptamers and proteins can be grafted on the nanoparticle surface. These conjugates are of high interest for both in vitro diagnostics and in vivo imaging and therapy.

Contact: Carole CHAIX, Group leader – carole.chaix[@]