Year/Course: 2008-2009, Easter 2009
Project type: Taster

Contacts: Nikos Bamiedakis & Joseph Beals, CAPE
Mentor: John Loveluck, 42 Technology

The research team at CAPE has been focusing on developing new light-based electronics using a novel polymer material from Dow Corning. They are now interested in finding other commercial applications for the material, in particular in the field of photonic (light-based) biosensors.

The polymer materials have a number of attractive features for biosensors, including:

  • low-cost (possibly allowing the manufacture of cheap one-time-use biochips)
  • biologically inert (suitable for use with biological samples or even in-vivo)
  • can withstand temperatures up to 350C allowing autoclave sterilization
  • waveguides can be integrated onto PCBs and with microelectronics to create complete sensors

The task for the I-Team will be to identify the range of possible uses for photonic biosensors, then investigate which of these could benefit the most from the new waveguides that the CAPE team can create. In particular, which applications might benefit from the new concept of a one-use biochip, and would this idea be feasible in practice.