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Chemical Engineering

Biosensors and Biomaterials Laboratory

Professor Gilchrist

This laboratory focuses on the design of novel biomaterials and biosensors from molecules of cellular origin. These molecules include nanostructured self-assembling proteins, membrane protein receptors, and thermostable phospholipids. In most cases the molecules are obtained from cell culture in a lab-scale bioreactor. Molecular engineering and bioconjugate chemistry approaches are applied to alter the properties of the parent molecules purified from cells. In some cases we are building in spectroscopic reporter groups so that the design process is both guided and monitored using biomolecular spectroscopy and surface analysis techniques. The main instrumentation in use in the laboratory are a bioreactor for cell culture and a time-resolved fluorescence microspectrometer for biomaterial imaging and spectroscopy. The lab is also fully equipped for protein purification, with an HPLC/FPLC setup and prep-scale 2D electrophoresis.