Bernal Institute Research Forum

Date: 24th October 2017 to 24th October 2017





One hour


MSG-025 MSSI Building Extension

Professor Michael Thompson, Department of Chemistry & Institute for Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, Canada.

Surface Modification Strategy for Enhanced Bio-compatibility of Medical Devices and Anti-fouling Biosensor Technology

Our research concerns the development of a chemipassive surface that is being employed to modify a number of conduits and devices used in medicine. The interaction of substrates with the components of biological fluids, especially blood, has constituted a research problem over many years. In this regard, a variety of strategies have been used to attempt an enhancement of biocompatibility with some emphasis being centered on the imposition of a plethora of surface coatings. In our work we are addressing the physical chemistry of covalent surface modification through the synthesis of new silane-based molecules. These moieties are bifunctional, short-chain length (6 Angstroms) trichlorosilanes containing a PEG backbone. (PEG has been the subject of intense study for many years). The structure of water intercalated in the adlayer appears to be crucial and has been studied in our lab by a number of surface analysis techniques including neutron reflectometry and MD calculation. Given that strategies for enhanced biocompatibility and anti-fouling of biosensors share much common ground, we have applied our surface modification approach in both fields. With regard to the former real-time confocal spectroscopy of the polymer surface-blood interaction shows a 98% reduction of thrombus formation for our surface modification. Polymeric materials such as polycarbonate, PVC and polysulfone are employed extensively in bypass surgery and renal dialysis. We have also applied the anti-fouling approach to detection of endotoxin in human plasma and K concentration in brain-based fluid. In collaboration with Electrical Engineering at the University of Toronto and the Krembil Institute (Western Hospital) Toronto we have fabricated a multichannel monolayer coated gold microelectrode for in vivo spatio-temporal measurements of [K ]o in a mouse brain as an improvement to the more conventional glass capillary electrode. The performance of the device is critically dependant on the aforementioned anti-fouling surface modification used in tandem with a new probe for potassium.

Professor Michael Thompson obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Wales, UK and his PhD in analytical chemistry from McMaster University. Following a period as Science Research Council PDF at Swansea University he was appointed Lecturer in Instrumental Analysis at Loughborough University. He then moved to the University of Toronto where he is now Professor of Bioanalytical Chemistry. He has held a number of distinguished research posts including the Leverhulme Fellowship at the University of Durham and the Science Foundation Ireland E.T.S Walton Research Fellowship at the Tyndall National Institute, Cork City. He is recognized internationally for his pioneering work over many years in the area of research into new biosensor technologies and the surface chemistry of biochemical and biological entities. He has made major contributions to the label-free detection of immunochemical and nucleic acid interactions and surface behavior of cells using ultra high frequency acoustic wave physics. Recently, scanning Kelvin nanoprobe detection has been introduced which offers the multiplexed detection of biochemical phenomena. Professor Thompson has served on the Editorial Boards of a number of major international journals including Analytical Chemistry and The Analyst and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the monograph series “Detection Science” for the Royal Society of Chemistry, UK. He has been awarded many prestigious international prizes for his research including The Robert Boyle Gold Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry, The Elsevier Prize in Biosensor and Bioelectronic Technology and the E.W.R. Steacie Award of the Chemical Society of Canada. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1999.


Tea/coffee will be available at 10h45
For further information, please contact: damien.thompson@ul.ie