New photonic crystal approach can enable sensitive and affordable detection of biomarkers

Biomarkers are small molecules of interest to researchers, because they can indicate underlying diseases, often even before symptoms even appear. However, detecting these markers can be challenging as they are often present in very low quantities, especially in the early stages of a disease. Traditional detection methods, while effective, usually require expensive components like prisms, […]

Pairing Two Effects for a Superior Biomarker Detection Method

Researchers from the Cancer Center at Illinois (CCIL) Program Leader Brian Cunningham’s lab in collaboration with researchers at Washington University have demonstrated a new capability to detect and count individual biomolecules at low concentrations. This technology may significantly improve the efficacy of current cancer detection and measurement methods.  Biomarkers play a significant role in diagnostics because their […]

Amplifying Quantum Dots and Single Molecule Sensing for Cancer

 8/22/2022 1:59:35 PM  Jenny Applequist for HMNTL Despite recent years’ dramatic improvements in cancer treatment, cancer remains second only to heart disease as a leading cause of death for Americans. But a new Nature Communications paper has reported exactly the kind of breakthrough that cancer patients yearn for: development of a highly sensitive new method for performing a […]

Skye Shepherd Selected for Young Innovator Award

July 20, 2022 Bioengineering graduate student Skye Shepherd was selected for the Young Innovator Award through the 2022 Young Innovator Program, offered and supported through the Catherine and Don Kleinmuntz Center for Genomics in Business and Society and Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology. The recognition also includes $20,000 to be used further develop Skye’s […]

Early respiratory virus detection research among Royal Society of Chemistry’s top citations

6/23/2022 10:06:55 AM Kim Gudeman, HMNTL In 2019, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign were working on a rapid test that could detect horse respiratory viruses in less than 30 minutes using a nasal swab and a smartphone. When the COVID-19 outbreak began later that fall, the team was able to pivot quickly to […]

New Point of Care Diagnostic Instrument for Cancer Biomarkers

October 18, 2021 By: Ananya Sen Current medical diagnostics involve sending samples to laboratory facilities, which can be difficult and expensive. Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have designed a desk-sized instrument that can make the same measurements at the location where the samples are collected. For several years the Cunningham group has been […]

Establishing the Center for Pathogen Diagnostics

9/30/2020, Kim Gudeman With COVID-19 infecting more than 25.1 million worldwide to date, the pandemic has underscored the need for cost-effective, accurate, and quick diagnostics. The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and Zhejiang University are launching the Center for Pathogen Diagnostics (CPD) to create new detection systems that address limitations of current technologies, while leveraging the […]

Portable Smartphone COVID Test

As COVID-19 continues to spread, bottlenecks in supplies and laboratory personnel have led to long waiting times for results in some areas. In a new study, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign researchers have demonstrated a prototype of a rapid COVID-19 molecular test and a simple-to-use, portable instrument for reading the results with a smartphone in 30 […]

Using Photonics to Generate “Hot Electrons” that Catalyze Chemical Transformations

Researchers in Prof. Brian Cunningham’s Nanosensors Group at the University of Illinois, in collaboration with Prof. Singamaneni’s research group at Washington University, described a new approach for efficiently catalyzing chemical reactions using light, in the journal ACS Photonics.   The researchers harnessed a new approach for amplifying electromagnetic fields in nanometer-scale volumes by coupling the energy […]

Digital Diagnostics Review Paper in Lab on a Chip

The Nanosensors Group from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign published a Critical Review for the journal Lab on a Chip, entitled “Digital Resolution Biomolecular Sensing for Diagnostics and Life Science Research.”  The co-authors of the paper are Qinglan Huang, Nantao Li, Hanyuan Zhang, Congyu Che, Fu Sun, Yanyu Zhang, Taylor Canady,  and Brian Cunningham. […]