A Research Center on Nanomaterials and Energy
|Employment period: 1 year
There exists an urgent and great need for a portable system to monitor water quality in both developed and developing countries. Currently, there is no commercial test available to satisfy this demand, as only accredited laboratories can perform such evaluations. Conventional physicochemical techniques like chromatography must be performed by qualified technicians, and require large, bulky and expensive equipment. Moreover, miniaturization of analytical instrumentation is one of dominant trends within the chemical and biological sciences. Miniaturization of diagnostic devices not only affords portability and significant cost reductions but also performance gains in terms of speed, analytical efficiency, automation and reproducibility. Through miniaturization, microfluidic technologies may allow successful integration of all the relevant steps on a single device. In order to solve this problem we have developed a phytoplankton (alga and cyanobacteria) based detection system implemented in a microfluidic platform. Algae and cyanobacteria are natural biosensors, since they integrate the biological effects of the compound mixtures in their environment and respond by metabolic changes that are relevant to potential toxic effects. In phytoplankton-based sensors, the organism responses are measured in real time by various detection mechanisms that can be optical, chemical or electrical in nature. In recent years, our group has showed the enormous potential of the combining of organic optoelectronic devices with microfluidic applied to toxicity measurement biosensor based on algae and cyanobacteria and we want to capitalize on those developments though this project.
You will develop a micro-biosensor to monitor water quality. The present sensor combines organic optoelectronic devices and electrochemical transparent electrodes (based on nanomaterials) applied to toxicity measurement on algae and cyanobacteria. The selected candidate will work on the fabrication of the electrochemical sensor as well as optimization of the phytoplankton handling in the microfluidic chip and the optimization of the protocol for pollution measurement.
The position is part of an INNOV-NSERC project; the selected candidate will be part of a team composed of researchers from the biology, chemistry and electronic department of UQAM.
The candidate must have excellent background in electrochemistry, and more specifically electrochemical sensors. Knowledge in microfabrication, microfluidics, water toxicity will be appreciated.
Contact: Ricardo Izquierdo
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