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Biological sensors and actuators based on nanoparticles


Two postdoctoral researchers are sought to join a multidisciplinary Group in Liverpool seeking to integrate nanoparticles into novel biological sensors and actuators, to provide a new approach for uniting the important fields of nano- and biotechnology. The Group is composed of 11 academic staff from Biological Sciences and Chemistry, 55 associated researchers, has an annual grant-funded research budget of over £3 million and has published more than 240 peer-reviewed publications in the last 5 years. Two Fellows are sought, a Biochemist/ Molecular Biologist and a Physical Chemist. The proposal encompasses two project areas related by their aim of using nanoparticles integrated into proteins for sensing applications or in switching structures. The first project area aims to fabricate a sensor for the dimerisation of the fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR- 1 ), a crucial reaction in cell division. To model the dimerisation reaction on cell surfaces, FGFR- 1, tagged with nanoparticles will be floated on a hybrid lipid bilayer. Induced dimerisation will be optically detected by changes in the wavelength of the light scattering, which is strongly dependent on the proximity of the nanoparticles. In the second project area nanoparticles will be tagged to azurin, to form a novel nanoscale switch. The copper atom in the redox protein azurin sandwiched between a gold substrate and a gold nanoparticle can be switched electrochemically between its redox states and this will affect the conductivity across the molecule. Since the gold nanoparticle forms an effective junction with the azurin, a biochemically activated switching device is formed. Both projects will involve the production of recombinant proteins with specific tags, e.g., 6XHis, to couple nanoparticles. Construction of the devices and their properties will be monitored by STM, AFM, IR spectroscopy, optical measurements, including resonant light scattering and ellipsometry.

Funding Scheme

BUR - Bursaries, grants, fellowships


Crown Street, Derby Building
L69 3BX Liverpool
United Kingdom