The central premise of this proposal is that effective biomedical sensors must interface with biological systems at the molecular scale. These devices must extract and process information from a complex environment of interacting non-linear biomolecular processes and, in an ideal embodiment, intervene in processes gone awry. Functionality at this level of complexity dictates the requirements of engineering functional nanoscale components within microscale structures, facilitating highly complex processing schemes that can be implemented in very small volumes. Nature's answer to this design challenge is the cell. The objective of this work is to develop sensors that mimic the dimensions and some portion of the functionality of a cell. By mimicking cellular features, effective operation and interfacing to biological systems be achieved. To realize this ideal, we will exploit advances in nanofabrication that allow for the synthesis of physical features on length scales ranging from nanometers to centimeters. Carbon nanofiber- based membranes, will be arranged to create small volume containers. The nanoscale features of these membranes will be engineered to control chemically specific transport that influences enzyme-based reaction systems assembled within these containers. The resulting cell mimic structures will allow for physically and chemically specific sensing and for implementation of complex, engineered biochemical networks in contained volumes and under concentration conditions that closely model those of natural cells.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Instrumentation and Systems Development Study Section (ISD)
Program Officer
Korte, Brenda
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
UT-Battelle, LLC-Oak Ridge National Lab
Oak Ridge
United States
Zip Code
Iyer, Sukanya; Doktycz, Mitchel J (2014) Thrombin-mediated transcriptional regulation using DNA aptamers in DNA-based cell-free protein synthesis. ACS Synth Biol 3:340-6
Iyer, Sukanya; Karig, David K; Norred, S Elizabeth et al. (2013) Multi-input regulation and logic with T7 promoters in cells and cell-free systems. PLoS One 8:e78442
Siuti, Piro; Retterer, Scott T; Choi, Chang-Kyoung et al. (2012) Enzyme reactions in nanoporous, picoliter volume containers. Anal Chem 84:1092-7
Karig, David K; Iyer, Sukanya; Simpson, Michael L et al. (2012) Expression optimization and synthetic gene networks in cell-free systems. Nucleic Acids Res 40:3763-74
Siuti, Piro; Retterer, Scott T; Doktycz, Mitchel J (2011) Continuous protein production in nanoporous, picolitre volume containers. Lab Chip 11:3523-9
Karig, David K; Siuti, Piro; Dar, Roy D et al. (2011) Model for biological communication in a nanofabricated cell-mimic driven by stochastic resonance. Nano Commun Netw 2:39-49
Retterer, Scott T; Siuti, Piro; Choi, Chang-Kyoung et al. (2010) Development and fabrication of nanoporous silicon-based bioreactors within a microfluidic chip. Lab Chip 10:1174-81
Fowlkes, J D; Doktycz, M J; Rack, P D (2010) An optimized nanoparticle separator enabled by electron beam induced deposition. Nanotechnology 21:165303
Choi, Chang Kyoung; Fowlkes, Jason D; Retterer, Scott T et al. (2010) Surface charge- and space-dependent transport of proteins in crowded environments of nanotailored posts. ACS Nano 4:3345-55
Fletcher, Benjamin L; Fern, Jared T; Rhodes, Kevin et al. (2009) Effects of ultramicroelectrode dimensions on the electropolymerization of polypyrrole. J Appl Phys 105:124312

Showing the most recent 10 out of 15 publications