current research

Integration of Photosystems one and two with Silicon

PS1Photosynthesis is the process by which plants and cyanobacteria convert solar energy into chemical energy. At the heart of this process are two protein complexes known as Photosystem I and Photosystem II. In this project, we isolate these photosystems from plants and integrate them with new materials (such as polymers, metals, and semiconductors) in order to develop efficient and inexpensive solar conversion devices. Electrochemistry is used as our primary means of analysis, however we utilize many of the spectroscopic and fabrication tools available in the VINSE facilities.

Langmuir 2014, 37, 10979.

For more information, click here.

real-time monitoring of bioenergetics


Energy metabolism in living cells inovles the consumption of glucose and oxygen, resulting in the production of lactate and extracellular acidification. Monitoring changes in these analytes is a useful tool for styding metabolism effects from external stimuli, including toxins and pathway inhibitors. We have developed the Multianalyte Microphysiometer (MAMP) for just such celular studies. Additionally, offline instrumentation detecting these same analytes is being developed and implemented for the analysis of Organ on a Chip (OoC) bioreactors.

For more information, click here.

2015 Chemistry Departmental Brochure Coverage

monolayer protected clusters as biological mimics

nanoparticleGold nanoparticles are capable of undergoing a variety of reactions which provide functionality. Particulary, place exchange reactions using biomolecules on water soluble monolayer protected gold clusters yield particles with similar properties to proteins and other biomolecules. (Photo courtesy of Dr. James E. Crowe, Jr. Laboratory, Vanderbilt, University)

Ion Channels and Ion Channel Analogs

analyst Ion channels populating cell membranes exhibit very high specificity toward specific analytes, and therefore can be advantageously utilized in detection schemes for future sensor designs. Additionally, certain ion channel analogs (such as the alamethicin water pore) can be triggered to open or close via potential control and thus are promising candidates for use as valves in microfluidic device designs.

The Analyst 2006, 131(2), 311.


Immunosensors using quartz crystal microbalance

QCM QCM has a wide range of applications in areas of food, environmental and clinical analysis. The use of antibodies as the crystal coating, offers immunosensors inherent bioselectivity. These antibody-coated crystals are referred to as QCM-based immunosensors.


monolayer protected cluster fractionation

MPCs have interesting properties such as quantized electrochemical charging of the MPC core, optical absorption, and catalytic activity. However, such properties are size dependant and thus the fractionation of MPCs into more monodisperse samples is important for characterizing MPCs and for use in practical applications such as protein mimics, functionalized nanostructures, and sensors. This project focuses on MPC fractionation using continuous free flow electrophoresis.