Biofunctionalization of nanoparticles for sensing applications


Nanoparticles (NPs) are popular materials in the development of sensitive and selective sensing platforms. They can perform many important functions in a biosensor. For e.g. NPs can act as redox labels in electrochemical biosensors and nanoparticles with magnetic properties can help in separating a target analyte from a large pool of sample. The active sites on NPs are hotspots for anchoring functional groups and biomolecules. The biofunctionalization of NPs involves conjugation of NPs with biomolecules. While NPs can amplify the recognition events, their conjugation with biomolecules plays a key role in making the recognition event target-specific [1]. As a result, biofunctionalized NPs are used in sensing, imaging, and drug delivery [2-4].

Aim & Research Methods

The main goal of project is to functionalize silver and magnetic nanoparticles with biomolecules (antigens, aptamers, proteins) of interest. Your will identify, select, and establish protocols for the efficient conjugation of silver and magnetic nanoparticles with biomolecules. Finally, the biofunctionalized NPs will be used for the detection of target analytes (from samples like water, blood, whole cells, etc) via optical or electrochemical techniques.

Your tasks:

  1. Modification of nanoparticles with biomolecules (click chemistry)
  2. Characterization and stability studies of biofuntionalized NPs with optical and electrochemical techniques
  3. Detection of target analyte specific to biomolecules anchored on the surface of NPs.

You will be a part of an interdisciplinary working environment and will have the opportunity of learning the following techniques:

  1. Key conjugation strategies for biofunctionalization of nanoparticles
  2. Biomolecular assays
  3. Optical techniques (UV/VIS spectroscopy, microscopy)
  4. Electrochemical techniques: Voltammetry, amperometry, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
  5. Biosensing strategies (calibration as well as selectivity, sensitivity, and stability studies)


  1. Motivation to work on an interdisciplinary research topic self-reliantly
  2. Wet-lab experience (basic chemistry) and experimental skills

Possible starting date & further information

Potential starting date is as soon as possible. For further details and application contact Lennart Weiß or Bhawana Thakur.


  1. Ding, L.; Ju, H., Biofunctionalization of nanoparticles for cytosensing and cell surface carbohydrate assay. Journal of Materials Chemistry 2011, 21 (45), 18154-18173.
  2. Reddy, A. N.; Anjaneyulu, K.; Basak, P.; Rao, N. M.; Manorama, S. V., A Simple Approach to the Design and Functionalization of Fe3O4–Au Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications. 2012, 77 (4), 284-292.
  3. Kadam, R.; Maas, M.; Rezwan, K., Selective, Agglomerate-Free Separation of Bacteria Using Biofunctionalized, Magnetic Janus Nanoparticles. ACS Applied Bio Materials 2019, 2 (8), 3520-3531.
  4. Geagea, R.; Aubert, P. H.; Banet, P.; Sanson, N., Signal enhancement of electrochemical biosensors via direct electrochemical oxidation of silver nanoparticle labels coated with zwitterionic polymers. Chemical Communications 2015, 51 (2), 402-405.