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Exploitation of Organic Electrochemical Transistors for Biological Ionsensing

Final Report Summary - IONOSENSE (Exploitation of Organic Electrochemical Transistors for Biological Ionsensing)

The aim of the IONOSENSE proposal was to integrate the barrier function of biological systems with organic devices (the Organic Electrochemical transistor or OECT) to yield devices that can detect minute disruptions in barrier function. Specifically, the aim was to integrate OECTs with cell monolayers that form tight junctions and with membranes that incorporate ion channels, with subsequent detection of disruptions to the tissue integrity or a change in the permeability of ion channels.
The IONOSENSE project successfully achieved the stated goals and has resulted in a highly sensitive platform for monitoring of biological ion flux in a diverse range of tissues, in a variety of formats useful for toxicology, including in 3D formats. In addition to the detection of ion flux in tissues, the demonstrated integration of the OECT with reconstituted biological membranes has opened the door to toxicology monitoring on a molecular level. A thorough understanding of the device performance, for specific biological applications, has allowed the optimization of the device to enable highly sensitive and specific sensing with outstanding temporal resolution. In addition, the OECT has been developed in a format that allows combined optical and electronic monitoring, enhancing the predictability of the measurements, and allowing correlation with traditional toxicology monitoring.
The IONOSENSE project permitted the maturation of a junior scientist, and the growth of her team, establishing her as a credible scientist in Europe and internationally. A number of promising research directions identified during the IONOSENSE project will be continued through collaborations established during the project and funded by National and European funding agencies.
Selected results from the IONOSENSE project are currently being fast-tracked towards commercialisation. The anticipated result will be a multi-parameter toxicology monitoring platform that can reduce animal experimentation, by improving the quality of early stage drug development and toxicology screening.