Innovation through nanotechnology

DST/MINTEK

Nanotechnology Innovation Centre

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Nanotechnology Electrochemical Systems

(All the systems will be nanomaterials or screen-printed electrodes modified with nanomaterials)

•  Producer of screen-printed electrodes with various nanomaterials.

•  Nano-electrochemical CVD modified screen-printed electrodes.

•  Nano-electrochemical E-Beam Lithography modified SPEs.

Electrode Fabrication:  Various methods are investigated with the aim to find electrical conducting surfaces and stable films.

Platforms development:  Investigate different biomolecule immobilization protocols for various applications.

Analyte identification:  Identify analytes as required;  i.e. outbreaks and define mode of detection for various applications.

Signal amplification:  Incorprating nanomaterials and study their effect towards enhancement of analyte detection, e.g. Increased sensititvity.

Materials characterisation:  Investigate the mode and the orientation the biomeolcules takes on the electrode surface.

Surface chemistry and characterisation:  Apply surface-based techniques to investigate and confirm the presence of these nanomaterials on electrodes.

Research Focus Areas

• Early detection of disease and/or virus infections.

• Screening of patients at remote and rural settings where electricity is scarce.

• Monitoring and surveillance of communicable diseases or virus outbreaks.

• Quality assurance at places where food stuffs and personnel exchanges take place (e.g. border control stations).

Application of interest

Services

Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) surface characteriasation

• Mintek owns two AFM equipments, i.e. The MultiMode and Enviroscope AFM/Scanning Probe Microscope (SPM).

•   Both these equipments can also be adapted to the environmental conditions for specialized surface characterization and surface measurements like vacuum, liquid phase, normal air and in-situ electrochemical studies.

Electrochemical measurements

• Mintek owns two electro-chemical workstations and both these can perform additionally impedance, BIPOT measurements, EQCM-D, RDE, etc.

Quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation and surface plasmon resonance

• Both these equipments are used to monitor the binding and hybridization events in e.g. Protein-protein, antibody-antibody, antigen-antibody, etc.

Vision  

•  To become a leader in research and development of (nano)- electrochemical sensors, biosensors and immunio-(bio)-sensors.

•  To penetrate and become a leading innovator of electrochemical sensors and commercial partner (of choice) for various sensing institutes in South Africa.

Objectives  

Our objective is to research and develop nanotechnolgy-based electrochemical sensor device prototypes for health and health related areas.

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“Our systems are aimed at alleviating challenges currently faced by South  Africans and Africans.”