Jan Roelof van der Meer


Biosensor nanoarrays for environmental monitoring

Domaine: Cooperation FAB

Acronyme: BIOMONAR

Durée: 01.04.2010 – 31.03.2014

Budget total: 3.000.000 EUR

Budget UNIL: 471.561 EUR


Jan Roelof van der Meer, Département de microbiologie fondamentale, FBM



BIOMONAR develops multiplexed nano-array biosensors for environmental targets, i.e. pollutants and pathogens.

The innovative approach engineers three sensor platforms (surface, liposomal, living cell) which exploit a panel of periplasmic binding proteins (PBPs) as the common selective element. The nano-arrays are integrated into a micro-fluidics system for in-situ monitoring. The strategy allows for selective and sensitive detection of target compounds in complex environmental mixtures. The sensor platforms probe different aspects in the exposure to affect chain of processes: each responds to a certain proportion of the total target concentration and has a characteristic dynamic window.

The sensor signals are quantitatively interpreted and represented in terms of the spectra of reactivities and fluxes of the target compounds. This level of sophistication, coupled with the common PBP selective component, allows a coherent elucidation of the link between dynamic target speciation and predicted eco-toxicological impact. The optimization and dedication of the sensors for environmental monitoring inherently involves physicochemical characterization of the various bio/nonbio and bio/bio interfacial processes at nano-scale.

The ensuing knowledge on the interaction of nano-structured surfaces with biological systems facilitates design of sensors for new targets, thus providing technical opportunities for the biosensor industry.