Thorsten Bitsch, M.Sc.
Office Hours in InnovationLab:
Monday – Friday
The project “Printable biosensors based on aptamer technology for broad application” funded by FiF, the Forum for Interdisciplinary Research, gives room for interdisciplinary work between the IDD and the group for synthetic genetic circuits from the department of biology.
While the biology department is developing RNA-aptamers that bind specific antibiotics and trigger a readable output, it is my goal to develop the printing process to produce a sensor. This includes choosing the printing method and carrier material, as well as proving the functionality and finding the detection limits.
Aptamers are approx. 25 – 100 nucleotide-long deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA) or ribonucleic acids (RNA), that bind specifically to molecular targets. They possess a complex three-dimensional structure, which entwines around its specific target, its ligand, upon binding. Synthetic aptamers can be generated through systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment, called SELEX. Usually 6 to 20 cycles of binding and selecting are needed.
According to the IUPAC a biosensor is a device that uses specific biochemical reactions mediated by isolated enzymes, immunosystems, tissue, organelles or whole cells to detect chemical compounds usually by electrical, thermal or optical signals. It consists of three parts: the sensitive biological element, which binds with the target molecule; the transducer, which transforms the interaction into a measurable signal; and the signal processors, which displays the result in a user-friendly way.