NanoBiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications

Group Leader: Laura M. Lechuga

Main Research Lines

  • Plasmonics (SPR) and nanoplasmonics (LSPR) for biosensors

  • Nanophotonic biosensors based on integrated optics technology (MZI and BiMW)

  • Customised polymer microfluidic devices and flow delivery systems

  • Full integration in lab-on-a-chip and point-of-care biosensor analytical platforms

  • Universal biofunctionalisation techniques and biochip packaging

  • Bioanalytical applications in clinical, environmental and molecular biology, providing application-specific functionalities

The ICN2 Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group focuses its activities in the development of novel nanobiosensors devices based on plasmonics, nanoplasmonics and silicon-based photonics principles, including surface biofunctionalisation, microfluidics and complete lab-on-a-chip integration for point-of-care devices. Application of the nanobiosensors for real clinical diagnostics and environmental control is one of the main objectives of the group. The research activities range from basic research to technological operation of complete sensing platforms, and on to the industrial transfer of our research into products. The group has pioneered developments at an international level in the area of photonic biosensors such as the bimodal waveguide interferometric device, the optonanomechanical sensor or the magnetoplasmonics biosensor.

Our work is focused on:

Development of photonic transducers based on silicon-related optoelectronics technology and nanoplasmonics which can afford competitive advantages compared to the state-of-the-art. Main goal is to improve sensitivity, miniaturisation and multiplexing capabilities of the sensors. 

New strategies for universal biofunctionalisation techniques of biological receptors (as proteins or genomic strands), ensuring selectivity, life-cycle, non-fouling properties and reusability. Drying and packaging of the pre-functionalised biochips. 

Full integration in point-of-care analytical platforms, including micro/nanofluidics, optical subsystems and interfaces, biocompatible encapsulation, hardware, and software. Deliver technologies to enable development of autonomous, reactive platforms that can be embedded in user environments. 

Full demonstration of the applicability of our biosensor technology for real life requests, mainly for clinical diagnostics (i.e early cancer diagnostics, infectious diseases diagnosis in resource-limited settings), food and environmental control (i.e. microbiological infections and rapid detection of toxins). This line includes validation in clinical hospitals and environmental settings. Providing custom packaging solutions and application-specific functionalities. 

Technology transfer of our nanobiosensor and point-of-care technologies. Enhanced usability facilitates a smoother transition between our laboratory prototypes to products, leading to increased commercialisation potential. We work in providing platforms, tools, IP, open-source and custom applications targeted to filling gaps in diagnostics. 

Group Leader

Laura M. Lechuga

CSIC Research Professor

Prof. Laura M. Lechuga received her PhD in chemistry from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 1992. From 2012 to 2015 she was an adjunct professor at the department of Physics and Technology at the Artic University of Norway (Tromsø, Norway). Since 2013 she has been a distinguished visiting professor at the School of Electrical and Computer Sciences of the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Brazil). She has been a fellow of the Optical Society since 2014. 

Prof. Lechuga is the leader of the ICN2 Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group. The main focus of her group lies in the technological development of nanophotonic (nanoplasmonics and silicon-based) biosensors, their integration into portable lab-on-a-chip platforms and their application in clinical and environmental diagnostics.

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