1. Novel noninvasive methods to characterize the state and dynamics of biological systems.

Due to its capability to reveal and characterize inhomogeneities in the systems, as well as its noninvasive character, impedance spectroscopy (and its extension towards multifrequency impedance tomography) is extensively used in our research.

2. Dielectric modeling and nonlinear time series analysis

Strong emphasis is placed on both experimental and theoretical aspects regarding:

  • Development of new, portable impedance spectrometers;
  • Development of microscopic models of dielectric behavior of non spherical cells (focusing on yeasts, red blood cells, and gap junction connected cells). A quantitative approach providing shape evolution of budding yeasts during the cell cycle, consistent with experimental findings, is available.
  • Nonlinear complex fitting algorithms related to microscopic and phenomenological models (e.g., Havriliak-Negami).
  • Time series analysis of dielectric data yielding quantitative measures of the system dynamics (revealing changes in the tissue structure and function and the invariants of the cell cycle)

3. Novel biosensing platforms

Development of a micromachined flow cytometer in conjunction with a multi-frequency impedance analyzer to derive properties of individual cells (cell size, membrane permitivity and conductivity, cytoplasm conductivity and resting potential)

4. Biosensors for biomedical and industrial applications

  • Design of robust sensors for on-line measurement and the development of new strategies for process control and automation.
  • Quality monitoring and traceability of foodstuffs ? aspects of quality and safety of raw materials.

With respect to the Call for Proposals of the 6th Framework Program of the European Commission (Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources), we are actively seeking collaboration for joint R&D projects regarding the following priority areas:

  • Identification of quality indicators directly accessible via impedance measurements (moisture, fat content, etc);
  • Identification and monitoring of hidden indicators (related to the evolution of system structure), estimated through specific (non-linear) analysis of time series of experimental data.

We are also interested to develop rapid sensors (based on impedance measurements) to assess the quality of (nutrient) liquid media by:

  • estimating the concentration of vitamins, essential metal ions, essential amino acids and fatty acids
  • detecting microbial contaminants e.g., the incidental presence in milk of pathogen microorganisms such as Lysteria

For these purposes, partners able to produce a substrate exhibiting high specificity for a certain nutritional compound, pathogen (antibody) or its byproduct(s), and the immobilization of the substrate on electrodes or micro (nano) spheres, are required.

5. Novel methods to assess environmental hazards, including mixed exposures, cumulative and low dose effects.

6. Effective toxicity testing using cell systems (eliminate the test studies on animals)

The idea is to use the cell dynamic as a sensor for assessing the environmental hazards by monitoring the induced alteration of cell cycle progression.





  Opportunity # Luminometer Grants Program