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BIOANALYTIC LABS-ON-CHIP INSPIRED BY NATURE

The research team of the Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology of NCSR “DEMOKRITOS”, in cooperation with partners of the Institute of Nuclear & Radiological Sciences & Technology, Energy & Safety presents innovative nanotechnology applications inspired by nature.

By studying the fascinating properties of animal and plant organisms, such as the duck feathers or the water lily leaves, the researchers have created self-cleaning surfaces with the aid of nanotechnology tools, which repel water, ice, oil and microorganisms.

This research directly applies to glass surfaces that are not stain when it rains, to plastic parts which do not withhold water or oil neither reflect light or to surfaces which do not catch germs.

The research team took this use of nanotechnology one step further, by constructing “bioanalytic labs-on-chip” managing to fit a regular microbiology laboratory into a few square centimeters, aiming to a simpler, faster and cheaper daily export of bioanalytic results.

Nanotexturing matter: ‘Smart’ nanostructured surfaces and bioanalytic labs-on-chip

THE INNOVATION OF THE RESEARCH TEAM

The NCSR “DEMOKRITOS” team led by Dr. Evangelos Gogolides, has developed a method to nanostructure and chemically modify surfaces using plasma processing, which has been named as plasma nanotexturing. Nanostructures in the form of cones, columns, or fibers are developed using plasma etching. Plasma nanotextured surfaces are water, ice, oil, and microorganism repellent and thus self-cleaning. They are simultaneously anti-reflective and transparent, hence the term “smart” surfaces.

Then, the research team integrated nanostructured surfaces in bioanalytic labs on chip and they have proven that these surfaces allow either repulsion or increased binding of proteins, DNA or cells on them. Based on these results, they created nanotextured protein microarrays with a 100 fold increased sensitivity and 5fold increased intensity compared to smooth substrate microarrays. They also fabricated nanotextured microfluidics to enrich biomolecules or cells with a high capacity.

This method allows the simplification and acceleration of binding protocols of biomolecules on surfaces, the collection of rare cells or the repulsion of cells from surfaces. To conclude, the technology can greatly simplify and improve everyday analytic, and bioanalytic practices combining low cost and fast processing.

Significant Awards

The project of applied research entitled: “Nanotexturing matter: ‘Smart’ nanostructured surfaces and bioanalytic labs-on-chip”, of the research team of the Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology of NCSR “DEMOKRITOS”, in cooperation with researchers from the Institute of Nuclear & Radiological Sciences & Technology, Energy & Safety has won the second award in the Applied Research & Innovation Competition “Greece Innovates" in 2013. In the context of the competition, held for the second time and co-organized by SEV and Eurobank, 242 innovation proposals have been submitted by researchers of Greek academic institutes, research centres and research departments of Hellenic companies.

NATIONAL CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH DEMOKRITOS (N.C.S.R «Demokritos»)

Evangelos Gogolides, Research Director at Institute of Microelectronics of NCSR “DEMOKRITOS”.

Partners / Microelectronics Sector: Dr. Angeliki Tserepi, Dr. Nicholas Vourdas, Dr. Katerina Tsougeni, Maria-Helen Vlachopoulou, Dr. Antonia Malainou, Kosmas Ellinas.

Partners / Institute of Nuclear & Radiological Sciences & Technology, Energy & Safety (I.N.RA.S.T.E.S.): Dr. Sotirios Kakabakos, Dr. Panagiota Petrou.

N.C.S.R «Demokritos» Greece Innovates Video presentation Interview: Smart Nanostructured Surfaces