Lab Worker

Research Applications

Quantitative measurement of a drug or biomarker in biological fluids, primarily blood, plasma, serum, urine or tissue.

Assessment of the quality of the environmental parameters in order to control the risk of pollution and potential harm to humans.


Discovering new plasmonic and chemical materials. Exploiting their optical properties for biosensing applications.


Case Studies

Approximately one in five women diagnosed with breast cancer worldwide will have HER2-positive breast cancer, a particularly aggressive form of the disease. Although four diagnostic tests exist, research has shown that some HER2 status test results may still be wrong. 

A diagnostic test using SPR may help address some of the current issues. The potential biosensing application of a new ultra-low fouling ionic liquid is demonstrated using the P4SPR for the analysis of HER2 in breast cancer cell lysates. 

CD36 is a scavenger receptor important in age-related macular degeneration and other diseases. CD36 transmembrane proteins have diverse roles in lipid uptake, cell adhesion and pathogen sensing. Despite numerous in vitro studies, how they act in native cellular contexts is poorly understood. In an investigation with a Drosophila CD36 homologue, SNMP1, the P4SPR was employed to assess small-molecule interactions with a CD36 sensor chip.

Cytokine release syndrome is a form of systemic inflammatory response syndrome that arises as a complication of some diseases or infections, and is also an adverse effect of some monoclonal antibody drugs and other treatments. Severe cases have been called “cytokine storms” and can be fatal.


Understanding the mechanism of inflammation is important. Here, the P4SPR was deployed to investigate the binding of a gene (EBI3) to IL-6, a pro-inflammatory cytokine. This unexpected observation could lead to a new therapeutic biologic for autoimmune diseases. 

E. coli L-asparaginase II (EcAII) is a critical component of chemotherapy for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). This therapeutic, listed as essential medicine by the WHO since 1995, may be compromised by allergic reactions, overt or silent. The main concern relative to the silent hypersensitivity that occurs in 5-46% of patients is the development of neutralizing antibodies that result in silent inactivation of the treatment.

In order to monitor the efficacy of the treatment with EcAII, a test to detect the anti-EcAII antibodies (neutralizing antibodies) using the P4SPR. SPR bioassays were performed in undiluted serum from children undergoing therapy for ALL.

Methotrexate (MTX) is one of the most widely studied and effective therapeutics agents available to treat many solid tumors, hematologic malignancies, and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis; however, the poor pharmacokinetic and narrow safety margin of the drug limits the therapeutic outcomes of conventional drug delivery systems.

MTX concentrations in a patient’s serum undergoing chemotherapy treatments can be determined by surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensing using folic acid-functionalized gold nanoparticles (FA-AuNP) in competition with MTX for the bioreceptor, human dihydrofolate reductase (hDHFR) immobilized on the SPR sensor chip.

Rapid detention explosives (RDX) have been used extensively in the manufacture of munitions and accounts for a large part of the explosives contamination at active and former military installations in various parts of the world. Most RDX are not significantly retained by most soil and biodegrade very slowly. As a result, it can easily migrate to groundwater. They are classified as possibly carcinogenic and can damage the nervous system if inhaled or ingested.

See how the P4SPR was deployed on the field to test RDX in water at levels near the EPA limit of 2 ppb.