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Mina Safarzadeh



Graphene-based biosensors for quantitative characterisation of DNA methylation.


Prof. Genhua Pan, University of Plymouth, United Kingdom

Mina Safarzadeh is from Shiraz, Iran. She got her bachelor degree in 2013 in Material Engineering. She resumed her studies in Biomedical Engineering with a specialization in Biomaterials. During her master she worked on designing an miRNA-based biosensor to detect colon cancer at the early stage. After that, she did a one-year internship at the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) where she worked on designing an immunosensor to detect colorectal cancer, as well as investigating the cross-talk of tumor cells with host cells under dynamic conditions. Her research interests are biosensors for cancer diagnostics, biomaterials and tissue engineering. Her dream is to see a world in which everyone has access to medical facilities and high quality health care.

The objectives of this ESR project are to develop a simple and inexpensive biosensor for quantitative detection of DNA methylation markers together with the required onboard electronics and data process. Two types of graphene DNA sensors, an electrochemical-based electrode made of reduced graphene oxide flakes, and a conductance based backgated graphene field effect transistor (gFET), will be explored in the project with the aim to produce a reliable and sensitive sensing device for DNA methylation. The project will incorporate sensor fabrication, chemistry and protocols already developed by the group and DNA methylation detection techniques developed elsewhere into the new sensing regime for targeted detection sensitivities and reliability for the label free detection of DNA methylation markers. For the conductance gFET sensor, aptamer functionalisation will be investigated for the immobilisation for detection of DNA methylation. For the electrochemically reduced graphene electrodes, methylated DNA will be directly immobilized on to the electrode surface and characterised with differential pulsed voltammetry (DPV). The development of the on-board electronics and signal processing will be focused on the data acquisition & storage, and embedded diagnostic decision making algorithms. The sensors will then be integrated with the microfluidics and packaging developed in ESR-4 for a prototype diagnostic tool.

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