Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Biosensor

We develop new biosensor technologies for rapid diagnosis of pathogens.

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Disease diagnostics research at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Disease diagnostics research at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Miniaturized sensor array

Mortality associated with disease can be decreased with early diagnosis. However, current technologies for the early detection of disease are inadequate, creating an imminent need for rapid, sensitive and specific detection platforms.

The Biosensor team at Los Alamos National Laboratory is addressing this inadequacy by developing new biosensor technologies for rapid diagnosis of pathogens. A "biosensor" is a sensor capable of detecting biological molecules such as proteins, carbohydrates and intactpathogens.

Our central theme is the sensitive, specific, and rapid detection of biological agents. We develop methods to detect national security threats (anthrax, botulism) as well as medically important organisms and conditions (influenza, breast cancer, tuberculosis). To achieve these goals, the team relies on a group of researchers.

This project requires the participation of chemists, biologists, engineers, and materials experts alike. Such an integrated effort is possible because of extensive collaboration, both amongst scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and with external organizations.

Key focus areas

  • Engineering of optics and electronics
  • Development and use of planar optical waveguides
  • Assay development for protein and oligonucleotide detection
  • Biological engineering
  • Thin-film and surface chemistry
  • Preparation and use of novel surface-reactive molecules
  • Preparation and use of novel carbohydrate-based ligands
  • Application of optical reporters to new problems
  • Development of optical reporters

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