As part of the weekly seminar series at Amrita School of Biotechnology, Dr. T.G. Satheesh Babu visited the campus and spoke about his current work concerning “Signal Amplification in Biosensing”. His team at the Biosensor Research Lab, in the Coimbatore of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham is utilizing nanomaterials to amplify signals in biosensors of various analytes.
As an Amrita alumnus and assistant professor, Dr. Satheesh was able to connect equally well with the faculty and the students. When we hear about “nano” we automatically think about minute objects that are too small to have an effect on our everyday lives, but Dr. Satheesh attempted to break the mold and expand our view of nano-sized objects by making the concept into an entity our minds could visualize and comprehend. He expressed the sizes of silver nanoparticles used in DNA sensing as ten-thousandth of the thickness a strand of hair and also talked about a novel design of a honeycomb structured nanomaterial for detection of glucose that is a million times smaller than the actual honeycombs we see outside our windows.
Capability to sense analytes such as glucose, cholesterol, DNA, antigens and pathogenic micro-organisms can have far reaching implications in diagnostics, forensics, epidemiology, toxicology etc. Specificity and sensitivity are attributes that are important in bio-sensing. The capability to detect analytes at ato-molar and femto-molar concentrations is challenging because of the feeble nature of the signals generated after a specific bio-sensing event for eg. DNA recognizing its complementary strand. Signal amplification can stretch our capability to make highly sensitive biosensing devices. The nuances of amplification was very comprehensively explained by Dr. Satheesh Babu. The use of nano particles, and functionalizing them using dentrimers, ssDNA, immunoglobulins for achieving amplification were revealed with striking simplicity and fluidity. He was successful in opening up a fresh avenue of discussion for the students who responded with interesting questions at the end of the seminar. Mr. Satheesh’s take on nanoscience and his excellent ability to engage an audience opened our minds to the significance of these minuscule structures.
February 14, 2014
School of Biotechnology, Amritapuri