Ultra-sensitive single-molecule detection techniques provide a powerful way to analyze the complex behavior of biomolecules because distributional outliers can be observed on an individual basis. This cannot be done with any classical approach that measures the average of an ensemble. We are currently employing both electrical and optical approaches to ultrasensitive analysis. We are also exploring novel nanopore structures in biomembranes that have potential utility in nanoscale control and measurement applications.
These endeavors require expertise in chemistry, physics and biology. Dr. Daniel Burden (Wheaton College Chemistry Dept.) and Dr. Lisa Burden (Wheaton College Biology Dept.) combine their areas of expertise to lead an interdisciplinary team of Wheaton researchers. Outcomes of the research aim to be applied in several areas of science and engineering, such as enhanced chemotherapies, novel chemical sensors, new approaches to nanoscale manufacturing, and aqueous-based molecular electronic devices.