Recently, Professor Sahika Inal’s article about sensor design of a DNA based cantilever was featured in Nature Biomedical Engineering Journal. This sensor is essentially an electromechanical chip consisting of self-assembled DNA-based cantilevers immobilized on a liquid-gated graphene field-effect transistor that can be configured to rapidly detect ultra-low concentrations of biomolecules, including viral nucleic acids, in biological fluids. These molecular cantilevers can be used to detect RNA molecules of SARS-CoV-2 within a few minutes as opposed to the long turnaround times using the qRT–PCR which requires heavy equipment and specialized operators.
Sahika Inal is an Associate Professor of Bioscience with affiliations in Computational Bioscience Research Center (CBRC), Biological and Environmental Science & Engineering Division (BESE), Electrical Engineering (EE), Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). She leads the Organic Bioelectronics group at KAUST.
Professor Inal designs electronic devices that can efficiently communicate with biological systems. Her research interests cover organic electronic materials and devices that can address research and clinical health monitoring and therapy needs. She is particularly interested in ionic-electronic conduction in organic electronic materials and explores the potential of these materials for recording biological signals and modulating biological events. While investigating transport in organic electronics, she functionalizes these materials to make seamless interfaces with human body.
Inal, S. Fast and sensitive electromechanical sensing. Nat Biomed Eng (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41551-021-00841-7