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Biophysical Sciences Institute

Biomimetic 'Soft' Sensors

Biomembrane models and cells at an interface between two aqueous phases, each phase mimicking either extra or intra cellular fluids, are studied for characterising the interactions of molecules with bilayer lipid membranes (BLMs) and for assembling 'soft' implantable sensing materials.

Project Details

This project has two streams with investigations conducted  using impedance spectroscopy, electrochemistry, spectroscopic and surface characterisation techniques.

  1. Biomembranes of variable complexity are built at a liquid-liquid interface and used for the study of drug delivery, lipophilicity, chiral interactions, receptor interactions and bio-sensing. The experimental set-up is simple and portable and can be performed at micro interfaces requiring minimal sample. The target protein /receptor can be incorporated in the biomembrane and the interactions of the drugs and bioactive molecules monitored quantitatively.
  2. 'Soft' implantable sensor materials are developed using liposomes/ polymersomes/whole cells incorporated in hydrogels.

Contact: Dr Ritu Kataky


  1. P., Lopes, R., Kataky.  "Chiral interactions of the drug propranolol and α1-acid-glycoprotein at a micro liquid-liquid interface."  Anal. Chem., 2012, 84(5), 299-304.

  2. R., Campos, R., Kataky. "Electron Transport in Supported and Tethered Lipid Bilayers Modified with Bioelectroactive Molecules".  Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2012 116(13), 3909-3917.

  3. A. Suri, R. Campos,  D. G. Rackus, N. J. S. Spillera, C. Richardson, L-O. Pålsson and R. Kataky, "A Liposome-doped hydrogel for implantable applications."  Soft Matter, 2011, 7 (15), 7071 - 7077.

  4. F. A. Aguiar, R. Campos, C. Wang, R. Jitchati, A. S. Batsanov, M. R. Bryce and R. Kataky., "Voltage and structure dependent self-assembly and electron-transfer properties of rigid rod molecular wires."  PCCP., 2010,12 (44),14804-14811.

Contact Details

Biophysical Sciences Institute
Durham University.
South Road,

+44 (0)191 334 2351