SEMINAR: Electro-Active Waveguide Sensors for Detection of Biomarkers and Diagnosis of Disease

Martin G. O'Toole, Ph.D.
When Feb 13, 2019
from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM
Where Shumaker Bldg, RM 139
Contact Name
Contact Phone 852-7485
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Abstract: The importance of developing diagnostic tests that are highly sensitive, require easily obtained specimens (e.g. urine, tears), and have rapid turn-around cannot be overstated. Recently, our lab has been collaborating with Sergio Mendes from the UofL Department of Physics and Astronomy to develop a diagnostic platform that allows rapid identification of disease-related antigens in a patient’s tears or urine. We accomplish this through incorporation of an immuno-sensor sandwich assay with specially designed redox-active organic probes. What sets our technology apart is the use of an impedance spectro-electrochemical technique based on single-mode integrated optical waveguides that reaches unprecedented sensitivity for detection of surface-bound antibody recognition events. For example, we have demonstrated the device to have a limit of detection of 4 ng/mL in detecting influenza antigens. The heightened sensitivity of our sensor allows identification of the type of infection at an early stage in the disease cycle, allowing more rapidly informed responses from clinicians. This seminar will present the basic principles involved in the single-mode, electro-active, integrated optical waveguide (SM-EA-IOW) platform and discuss potential applications in disease diagnosis. The capabilities for the SM-EA-IOW in monitoring surface adsorption processes and electron transfer rates will also be discussed.


Speaker: Martin O’Toole, PhD completed his PhD in Chemistry at the University of Louisville followed by post-doctoral research in Chemical, electrical, and bioengineering laboratories. His research focuses, on developing chemistry-based technologies for use in biomedical applications. Much of his work focuses on nanoparticle design and synthesis as well as surface functionalization. His work has led to several patents and two technologies developed in his lab have been licensed to companies and are currently in pre-clinical development. He has also founded two start-up companies based on technologies developed at the University of Louisville.


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