Known for his laser-like focus and for rarely leaving his desk, Dr. Ferhan Abdul Rahim has let the ETS group know very little about his latest research - until now.
Today, Dr. Ferhan indulged his peers with a thorough and comprehensive overview of his latest work. His presentation, entitled, "Integration of Localized Plasmon Resonance Sensors and Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation for Biomacromolecular Interaction Analysis," began with an introduction to Localized Plasmon Resonance (LSPR) detection schemes and their applications. The technique, he explained, is based on detecting variations in the coherent oscillations of delocalized electrons that exist at the metal-dielectric interface of noble metal nanoparticles, and have been rigorously applied to almost everything from examining vesicle adsorption and rupture to protein conformational changes.
By detailing how LSPR's optical sensing and narrow penetration depth (~5-20nm) conveniently and effectively complement the acoustic sensing and deep penetration depth (~60-250nm) of Quartz-Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation (QCM-D) devices, Dr. Ferhan shed light on how an integrated system leads to improved, higher resolution measurements. In particular, the combination of LSPR and QCM-D can track structural changes with high spatial and temporal resolution; characterize vesicle packing at very high surface coverage; and probe spatial proximities down to the sub-nanometer range.
In future work, the combined system will allow for the investigation of dynamic aspects of molecular assemblies involving phase transitions, protein adsorption, nucleic acid interactions, and other novel ideas - to be proposed by the ETS group and their future members.
As a bonus to our current Ph.D. candidates, Dr. Ferhan made sure to present his work in the format of an exemplary doctoral thesis defense, the presentation therefore serving to instruct on multiple fronts.
Cheers to Dr. Ferhan on a deeply instructive and well prepared presentation that pushed the boundaries of sensor science!