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Dipartimento di Fisica - Politecnico di Milano

Nanostrutture magnetiche per la manipolazione e il riconoscimento molecolare

The following activities will be carried out at PoliFab, the micro and nanofabrication facility of PoliMi. The duration of the thesis period is about 9 months.

•  Development of a lab-on-chip diagnostic test for malaria (Tid Mekii)

This thesis project deals with the development of a lab-on-chip diagnostic test for malaria that combines magnetic separation and electrical impedance detection. Malaria parasite modifies the magnetic properties of infected red blood cells (RBCs) and produces characteristic hemozoin nanocrystals. These malaria biomarkers exhibit paramagnetic properties, allowing for magnetophoretic separation, both of isolated crystals and infected RBCs containing them, from the other blood components. The idea of the proposed diagnostic test is based on the specific attraction of hemozoin crystals and infected RBCs towards a chip surface, where Ni-micro pillars allows the magnetophoretic capture and the electrodes on top, because of the insulating behaviour of a red blood cell with respect to the blood plasma, can detect the presence of i-RBCs by an impedance variation. During the thesis work the student will design and develop the silicon chip fabrication processes and the experiments of magnetophoretic capture, exploiting cleanroom microfabrication equipment and techniques present at PoliFab, and the collaboration with biomedical and clinical partners.

Responsible: Riccardo Bertacco
Partners: DEIB @ PoliMi; Ospedale Sacco (Milano)