"Universal Biosensing Enhancement via Electrokinetic Selective Molecular Concentration"
One of the common challenges in any biosensing, regardless of the application and target molecules, is the need to detect low abundance molecular targets from a complex sample matrices. This is especially challenging for non-nucleotide targets, where molecular amplification processes like PCR (polymerase chain reaction) is not available. In this talk, I will overview my group’s decade-long effort to solve this critical challenge, which has been critically limiting biosensing sensitivity and reliability, via universal molecular concentration process that can selectively concentrate the target molecules over much larger molecular background. Two recent innovations, selective concentration enabled by charge-labeling as well as hierarchically increasing the overall concentration throughput by massive parallelization, enabled the detection of 10-100 aM level molecular targets over complex sample backgrounds like urine and serum, reaching the level of sensitivity of conventional PCR amplification. Yet, this technique is compatible with a wide array of downstream sensors and analytic devices, posing as a universal signal enhancement for next generation biosensing.
Dr. Jongyoon Han is currently a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received B.S.(1992) and M.S.(1994) degree in physics from Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, and Ph.D. degree in applied physics from Cornell University in 2001. He was a research scientist in Sandia National Laboratories (Livermore, CA), until he joined the MIT faculty in 2002. He received NSF CAREER award (2003) and Analytical Chemistry Young Innovator Award (ACS, 2009). His research is mainly focused on applying micro/nanofabrication techniques to a very diverse set of fields and industries, including biosensing, desalination / water purification, biomanufacturing, dentistry, and neuroscience. He is currently the lead PI for MIT’s participation for NIIMBL (The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals).