Dynamic lens systems for biosensing

Timothy Swager
John D. McArthur Professor, Chemistry
Director, Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation

2020 SENSE.nano Symposium
Monday, September 21, 2020
Session 1: Cell and subcell
2:20PM – 2:35PM EST

Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Panel discussion: Innovation, needed innovation, and challenges
1:00PM – 1:50PM EST

This talk will focus on the design of systems wherein reconfiguration of complex liquid emulsions (droplets) can be triggered chemically or biochemically. The utility of these methods is to generate new transduction mechanisms by which chemical and biological sensors can be developed. Complex liquid droplets behave as optical lens systems and small changes in surface tensions can change focal lengths or cause systems to switch between optically transmissive or scattering states. Central to this scheme is that the fluids in the droplets have different densities and hence are aligned by the earth’s gravity. The induced optical changes can be triggered with chemical, photochemical, or biochemical stimuli and thereby create new generations of sensors. Demonstrations of these methods for the detection of proteins, antibodies, and pathogens will be presented.

Photo of Timothy SwagerBiography
Timothy M. Swager is the John D. MacArthur Professor of Chemistry and the Director, Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A native of Montana, he received a BS from Montana State University in 1983 and a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 1988. After a postdoctoral appointment at MIT he was on the chemistry faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and returned to MIT in of 1996 as a professor of chemistry and served as the Head of Chemistry from 2005-2010. He has published more than 500 peer-reviewed papers and more than 100 issued/pending patents.

Swager’s honors include: Election to the National Academy of Sciences (2008), an Honorary Doctorate from Montana State University, the Linus Pauling Medal, the Lemelson-MIT Award for Invention and Innovation, Election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, The American Chemical Society National Award for Creative Invention, the ACS Award for Polymer Chemistry, and The Carl S. Marvel Creative Polymer Chemistry Award (ACS). Swager’s research interests are in design, synthesis, and study of organic-based electronic, sensory, high-strength, liquid crystalline, and colloid materials. His inventions have had wide ranging commecial impact, including the FidoTM sensors, which are the world’s most sensitive explosives detectors. He is the scientific founder of 5 companies (DyNuPol, Iptyx, PolyJoule, C¬2 Sense, and Xibus Systems) and has served on numerous of corporate and government boards.