Organic Electronics for Diagnostics in Physiological Media

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Building 9, Level 2, Room 2322(Lecture Hall 1)


Organic mixed (ionic and electronic) charge conductors and devices offer a new toolbox for interfacing with biological systems. One application for which they have compelling advantages is medical diagnostics. In this talk, I will show how we make use of the mixed conductivity of these materials and the transistor type that relies on this type of transport to detect pathogens and proteins with performance that exceeds the state-of-the-art. I will introduce two distinct organic electrochemical transistors (OECT) based sensor configurations; one for Amyloid beta aggregates and another that detects coronavirus spike proteins at the physical limit. Having challenged these sensors with patient samples, I will discuss areas where proof-of-concept platforms may fail and how to enhance the device operation in biological environments. 

Brief Biography

Sahika Inal is an Associate Professor of Bioengineering with affiliations in Electrical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). She has a B.Sc. degree in Textile Engineering from Istanbul Technical University (Turkey), an M.Sc. in Polymer Science, and a Ph.D. in Experimental Physics, both from the University of Potsdam (Germany). She completed her postdoctoral training at the Center of Microelectronics of Provence of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Étienne (France). Her expertise is in polymer science and bioelectronic devices, particularly in the photophysics of conjugated polymers, characterization of polymer films and the design of biosensors and actuators. Since 2016, Inal lab at KAUST exploits the functionalities of organic electronic materials, investigates ionic/electronic charge transport, and designs electronic devices that record/stimulate biological signals. Sahika is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and has received recognitions including ACS PMSE Young Investigator Award 2022 and shortlisted for the Nature Research Awards for Inspiring Women in Science in 2021. She is the author of 91+ publications and her work has been cited more than 6500 times.

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