UTFacultiesEEMCSDisciplines & departmentsBIOSStudent AssignmentsThe electrode-Crocodile and polarisation peanuts

The electrode-Crocodile and polarisation peanuts

iScat is a revolutionary label-free, high-resolution microscopy technique. Although it has been shown to detect single proteins, it is not sensitive to protein conformational changes. We want to achieve that sensitivity by combining it with Dielectrophoresis (DEP). This approach is promising but necessitates including brightly scattering nanoelectrodes in the objective plane. This introduces a sensitivity to polarisation (anisotropy), which needs great care to filter out at the detection. We would like to understand this optical effect better.

We theorise that the distance of the nanoelectrodes is responsible for this anisotropy. We want you to design an electrode with varying distances. This design will be manufactured for you in our cleanroom. Afterwards, you will measure the anisotropy in correlation with the electrode gap size in our setup. Based on this, you will optimise the polarisation in our setup and help predict this factor in the future.  As an add-on, if you are working efficiently, we want you to calibrate the setup depending on the salt concentration in the medium surrounding the electrodes.

Project Plan:

1.       Design electrodes

2.       Measure anisotropy dependent on gap size

3.       Optimize the setup

Optional: calibrate the setup with varying salt concentrations.