Biosensors for drug discovery applications

  • Nikhil Bhalla

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


This research developed a biosensor for kinase drug discovery applications. In particular it combined electronic techniques with optical techniques to understand the phosphorylation of proteins. There are two major electronic characteristics of phosphorylation that aid in its detection and subsequently biosensor development: first is the release of a proton upon phosphorylation of a protein (change in pH) and second is the addition of negative charge to the protein upon its phosphorylation. The work in this thesis reports an electrolyte–insulator–semiconductor sensing structures to detect the pH changes associated with phosphorylation and metal–insulator–semiconductor structures to detect the charge change upon phosphorylation of proteins. Major application of the developed devices would be to screen inhibitors of kinase that mediate phosphorylation of proteins. Inhibitors of kinase act as drugs to prevent or cure diseases due to the phosphorylation of proteins. With the advancements in VLSI and microfluidics technology this method can be extended into arrays for high throughput screening for discovering drugs.
Date of Award6 Jan 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorPedro Estrela (Supervisor), Mirella Di Lorenzo (Supervisor) & Giordano Pula (Supervisor)


  • Biosensors
  • Kinase
  • drug screening
  • protien phosphorylation
  • nanoplasmonics

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