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Engineering Bioluminescent Sensor Proteins and Beyond: from Point-of-Care Diagnostics to DNA-Based Molecular Computing


Event details

Date and time 10.12.2018 14:0015:00  
Place and room
Speaker Prof. Maarten Merkx, Eindhoven University of Technology (NL)
Category Conferences - Seminars

In my presentation I’ll show how modular protein sensor design strategies originally developed for FRET sensor proteins are easily adapted for the development of robust BRET and dual BRET/FRET sensors. In particular I’ll focus on the development of various BRET-based homogenous assays that allow detection of antibodies (LUMABS; LUMinescent AntiBody Sensors), small molecules, proteins and DNA/RNA directly in complex matrices such as blood plasma. In addition to developing BRET-based homogenous immunoassays for point-of-care diagnostics, my group is also exploring more complex biomolecular systems that can integrate sensing of multiple analytes, signal processing and actuation all on a molecular level. In my lecture I’ll present generic strategies that combine protein-based sensing and actuation with DNA-based computing, including efforts to confine and accelerate these molecular computational networks  by templating on supramolecular polymers.

Maarten Merkx studied physical organic chemistry and biochemistry at the Radboud University Nijmegen (1995, cum laude). He did his PhD with Prof. Averill (1999, University of Amsterdam) working on purple acid phosphatases, and was an HSFP post-doctoral fellow with Prof. Lippard (MIT, 1999-2001). Currently he is a professor in protein engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology and a core member of the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS). His group combines approaches from protein engineering, chemical biology, and synthetic biology to develop biomolecular sensors and actuators for applications in intracellular imaging, point-of-care diagnostics, and antibody-based therapies. An important research theme is the engineering of biomolecular switches, which include fluorescent and bioluminescent sensor proteins for intracellular imaging, photo-switchable proteins, and protein- and DNA-based sensors for antibody detection and actuation. Prof. Merkx has published 115+ research papers and is associate editor for ACS Sensors.

Practical information

  • Informed public
  • Free



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