Nano and microscale design of biosurfaces

A phD position in Le Mans (France)

PhD position

(French government grant)

Period_: Sept 2010 -- Sept 2013

Location_: Laboratoire de Physique de l'Etat Condensé, Université du
Maine -- Le Mans, France

*Nano and microscale design of biosurfaces*

The main biotechnological applications (biosensors, biochips) require today the use of surfaces with specific properties at the micro/nano-scale. The development of low cost methods (without clean room facility) allowing modification and structuring of bio-surfaces is now a major technological challenge.

Our laboratory has been developing for several years, new methodologies for developing, structuring and characterization of surfaces with specific properties. We have recently demonstrated with our colleagues
from INRA (French agronomy research center) the feasibility of micro-structuring biopolymers using specific enzymes. These results obtained recently are very promising in terms of applications, particularly in the areas of food, environment and design of fully organic nano-micro electric circuits.

In partnership with the INRA, the PhD student will begin by designing bio-functionalized surfaces using biopolymers from renewable resources.
Surface structures will be performed on micrometer scale by soft lithography (also known as microcontact printing). By choosing the proper enzyme/biopolymer couple, positive or negative lithography can be performed. We'll then study different ways of depositing conducting polymers in the "open structure" to form micro/nano circuits whose conduction properties will be studied by AFM in electric mode. To carry out this project, the PhD student will be firstly introduced to methods of preparation of the structured biosurfaces and other techniques for
structural (AFM), optical (micro-Raman confocal spectroscopy, fluorescence microscopy) and electrical characterizations (AFM).
Finally, nanoscale design will be considered by using enzyme-functionalized AFM tip.

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