Had a verynice interaction with the audience this morning at the European Summer School on the Physics of Light in Strasbourg.
My slides can be found here: Concentrating Light at the Nanoscale, Plasmonics and Nano-Optics
Featuring some colleagues of Institut Fresnel \ Mosaic
We are glad to report that our proposal PHOCCS has been accepted for funding by ERC Proof of Concept scheme. The project officially starts on May 1st 2015 for 18 months.
Abstract: Across Europe, nearly 250,000 people die every year of sepsis, a severe bloodstream infection. Detecting molecular biomarkers indicative of bacterial infection within a limited time is vital to enable targeted antibiotics therapy, limit the risk of antimicrobial resistance and reduce hospitalization costs. The key to success to fight sepsis is a fast detection technology that avoids the need for nucleic acid amplification processes and circumvents the limitations of fluorescence labelling.
The PHOCCS project aims at exploiting novel concepts based on PHOton Cross Correlation Spectroscopy to develop a breakthrough platform for ultra-sensitive detection of DNA biomolecules and assess its transferability into the large molecular diagnostics market. With its unique technology based on dynamic light scattering of noble metal nanoparticles, PHOCCS has several key advantages to enable commercial success: it is fast, quantitative, sensitive, specific and simple to operate.
Based upon original and patented intellectual property, PHOCCS is fully targeted to the development of a disruptive technology fundamental in strategic applications of molecular diagnostics to fulfil the industrial market needs. The PHOCCS project will bring the technology to a pre-demonstration stage for DNA sensing to strengthen the commercialization and licensing opportunities.
Metal nanoapertures known as zero-mode waveguides (ZMWs) are receiving a large interest as they concentrate light into nanoscale volumes and enable single molecule fluorescence experiments at micromolar concentrations. Within the large single molecule fluorescence toolbox, FRET is certainly one of the most widely used. Therefore it is tempting to associate ZMWs with FRET. However, such experiments are challenged by the complex influence the metal may have on the FRET process.
In a recent Chem Phys Chem article, we quantify the FRET rates and efficiencies between individual donor-acceptor pairs in aluminum zero-mode waveguides. We also compare the FRET results between ZMWs milled in gold and aluminum, and discuss the influence of plasmon resonance effects.
Given the large interest raised by aluminum ZMWs and FRET separately, we believe that our detailed report will help to expand the application of ZMWs as new devices for enhanced single molecule FRET at physiological concentrations.