Integrating bioelectronics with cell membrane mimics in order to investigate the biological activity of drug molecules

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology


The characterisation of cell membranes and their protein components in the presence of small molecules is vital for biosensing and therapeutic applications. At Oxford, I pursued a Master's in computational biochemistry, investigating transmembrane protein interactions with small bioactive molecules at the Neuromuscular Junction with the aim of developing nerve agent antidotes. I have since performed research at Imperial College, becoming interested in the integration of molecular biology with material science and the multidisciplinary approach to research. For these reasons, I am naturally interested in Dr Owens' BEST group and their approach to combining biological systems with electronic devices for a whole range of applications. Organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs), using PEDOT:PSS as the conducting polymer, have the ability to seamlessly interface with biological systems and thus provide functional information about these systems in their native environments. OECTs are also able to provide high degrees of signal amplification and multiplexing for biosensing purposes. By integrating biological membrane mimics with OECTs, I intend to pursue research in the analysis of membranes and their components and in particular their protein components in response to environmental perturbations and interactions with small molecules. Such analysis could be applied to antimicrobial compound discovery, the study of drug resistance as well as broader biosensing applications.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513180/1 30/09/2018 29/09/2023
2266415 Studentship EP/R513180/1 30/09/2019 29/06/2023 Karan Bali