CBE Seminar Series: Sahika Inal, King Abdulla University




Organic Electrochemical Transistors for Biosensing

Conjugated polymers provide a unique toolbox for establishing electrical communication with biological systems. In the first half of this talk, I will introduce these materials to detect signals at the biological interface. I will explain how chemical modifications impact electrochemical activity and mixed (electronic and ionic charge) transport properties and their performance in organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs). In the second half of this talk, I will introduce two types of OECT based sensors, one that detects metabolites with performance exceeding the state-of-the-art, and the other that detects proteins at the physical limit. We challenge the latter with COVID-19 patient samples, marking a considerable step toward biochemical sensing. I will discuss that advances in bioelectronic device designs stem from in-depth investigations of the active materials' transport properties, an understanding of device operation principles and materials’ compatibility with biorecognition units.

Biography: Sahika Inal is an Assistant Professor of Bioengineering with affiliations in Electrical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). Prior to joining KAUST, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Bioelectronics at the Center of Microelectronics of Provence of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Étienne (France). She received her B.Sc. degree in Textile Engineering from Istanbul Technical University, her M.Sc. in Polymer Science and Ph.D. in Experimental Physics from the University of Potsdam (Germany). Her expertise is in polymer science and bioelectronic devices, particularly in photophysics of conjugated polymers, characterization of polymer thin films and the design of biosensors and actuators. She investigates ion/electron conduction in organic electronic materials and designs bioelectronic devices that can record/stimulate biological signals. She leads the Organic Bioelectronics group at KAUST.