Bio-Inspired Technologies

Hybrid Bio-Electronic Devices

Our aim is to create a fusion of biology and electronics that brings the diverse array of  biological functions (e.g. molecular recognition, mechanical strength, photosynthesis, information storage, force generation etc.) to the highly-programmable world of electronics. In our technology, information can pass freely and in both directions across the molecular-electronic interface; the underlying electronic components can interrogate the state of the surface immobilized biomolecules, apply logic processing and then act to regulate the molecular state.

For more information see our list of publications or email steven.johnson@york.ac.uk

Recent highlights

Electronic immunosensors

Electronic immunosensor arrays capable of label-free and highly parallel monitoring of ligand binding have emerged as a particularly promising technology capable of meeting emerging diagnostic challenges. We have demonstrated a mixed self-assembled monolayer that contains both a redox-active component and chemical functional groups that addresses simultaneously the two challenges of electronic detection and molecular immobilization. Our approach could be extended for the detection of a range of clinically relevant analytes by local immobilization of specific and selective immuno-receptors, such as antibodies, aptamers and antibody-mimetics.

Electrophotonic immunosensors

Personalized and stratified medicine requires label-free, low-cost diagnostic technology capable of monitoring multiple disease biomarkers in parallel. Silicon photonic biosensors combine high-sensitivity analysis with scalable, low-cost manufacturing, but they tend to measure only a single biomarker and provide no information about their (bio)chemical activity. We have introduced an electrochemical silicon photonic sensor capable of highly sensitive and multiparameter profiling of biomarkers. The sensor consists of microring resonators optimally n-doped to support high Q resonances alongside electrochemical processes in situ. The inclusion of electrochemical control enables site-selective immobilization of different biomolecules on individual microrings within a sensor array - critical for multiplexed detection.