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Magnetic nanostructures for on-chip manipulation and sensing of biological entities

The following activities will be carried out at PoliFab, the micro and nanofabrication facility of PoliMi. The duration of the thesis period is about 9 months.

  • Development of a lab-on-chip diagnostic test for malaria (Tid Mekii)
    This thesis project deals with the development of a lab-on-chip diagnostic test for malaria that combines magnetic separation and electrical impedance detection. Malaria parasite modifies the magnetic properties of infected red blood cells (RBCs) and produces characteristic hemozoin nanocrystals. These malaria biomarkers exhibit paramagnetic properties, allowing for magnetophoretic separation, both of isolated crystals and infected RBCs containing them, from the other blood components. The idea of the proposed diagnostic test is based on the specific attraction of hemozoin crystals and infected RBCs towards a chip surface, where Ni-micro pillars allows the magnetophoretic capture and the electrodes on top, because of the insulating behaviour of a red blood cell with respect to the blood plasma, can detect the presence of i-RBCs by an impedance variation. During the thesis work the student will design and develop the silicon chip fabrication processes and the experiments of magnetophoretic capture, exploiting cleanroom microfabrication equipment and techniques present at PoliFab, and the collaboration with biomedical and clinical partners.
    Responsible: Riccardo Bertacco
    Partners: DEIB @ PoliMi; Ospedale Sacco (Milano)

  • High sensitivity magnetic biosensing by MgO-based magnetic tunneling junctions applied to DNA and protein biomolecular recognition.
    Partners: IFOM Fondazione Istituto FIRC di Oncologia Molecolare (Milano), Euroclone SpA, ST, Diapro Srl, ICRM, Université de Strasbourg, Stanford University.

  • On chip manipulation of biological entities by domain wall motion: controlled transport and integrated detection, cell targeting, mechanobiology.
    Partners: IFOM Fondazione Istituto FIRC di Oncologia Molecolare (Milano), nanoGUNE (San Sebastian – Spain), IIT Genova

  • Magnetic sensing of neuronal activity in artificial neuronal network patterned on chip, by arrays of spintronic magnetic sensors.
    Partners: IIT Genova.