Project title: Hybrid Smart Microbioprocessor for High Through-put Bioscreening

High through-put (HTP) bioscreening allows a researcher to effectively conduct millions of tests in a short period of time, and thus rapidly identify active targets that modulate a particular biomolecular pathway, providing important information for understanding certain biochemical process. These HTP experiment results are particularly of great value for diagnosis and pharmaceutical development. Microbioprocessors are designed microsystems where biological processes take place in a localized manner. Enzyme-incorporated microbioprocessors are of great interest for its controllability and lowered cost by recycling the often expensive bioreagents. HTP friendly enzyme microbioprocessors are especially desirable for drug screening and for understanding and screening the interaction and role of a particular biochemical process. Current approaches to fabricate enzyme microbioreactors usually involve chemical modification of the enzymes to anchor them to the supporting matrix, which implies increased design complexity and potentially compromised bioactivity due to the interfered conformation of the immobilized macromolecules. Sensing ability is usually not conveniently equipped with the existing systems. This project aims to develop a HTP friendly enzyme microbioprocessor using porous silicon based hybrid materials, where enzyme catalysts are trapped inside the system without chemical modification and sensing ability and environmental sensitivity are integrated into this system by careful materials engineering at the nanoscale.


  1. Cunin, F., Schmedake, T.A., Link, J.R., Li, Y.Y., Koh, J., Bhatia, S.N., and Sailor, M.J., "Biomolecular screening with encoded porous silicon photonic crystals." Nature Mater., 2002. 1: p. 39-1.
  2. Li, Y.Y., Cunin, F., Link, J.R., Gao, T., Betts, R.E., Reiver, S.H., Chin, V., Bhatia, S.N., and Sailor, M.J., "Polymer Replicas of Photonic Porous Silicon For Sensing and Drug Delivery Applications." Science, 2003. 299(5615): p. 2045-7.
  3. Link, J.R. and Sailor, M.J., "Smart Dust: Self-assembling, self-orienting photonic crystals of porous Si." Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 2003. 100(19): p. 10607-10.
  4. Cunin, F., Li, Y.Y., and Sailor, M.J., Nanodesigned pore-containing systems for biosensing and controlled drug release, in Encyclopedia on BioMEMS and Biomedical Nanotechnology, S.N. Bhatia and T. Desai, Editors. 2004, Kluwer.
  5. Pacholski, C.; Sartor, M.; Sailor, M. J.; Cunin, F.; Miskelly, G. M., "Biosensing using porous silicon double-layer interferometers: reflective interferometric Fourier transform spectroscopy." J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005, 127, 11636-11645.
  6. Li, Y.Y., Kollengode, V.S., and Sailor, M.J., "Porous silicon/polymer nanocomposite photonic crystals by microdroplet patterning." Adv. Mater., 2005. 17(10): p. 1249-51.

Supervisor: Dr Y Y Li (yangli@cityu.edu.hk)

Suitable for: M.Phil. or Ph.D.

Prerequisites: A Bachelor Degree in Chemistry, Materials Science or Bioengineering.