Research at the interface between nanoscience and biology has the potential to produce breakthroughs in fundamental science and lead to revolutionary technologies for biology and medicine. The Lieber group has played a leading role in defining the fundamental science, engineering and novel technologies at the interface between nanoelectronics and the life sciences, from development of sensors for real-time disease detection, to creating nanoelectronic tools for single cell and subcellular electrophysiology, and the development of novel cyborg cells and hybrid nanoelectronics-innervated tissues. Areas of current research interest include the following:

  • Biosensing. We are focused on studies pushing the limits of ultrasensitive nanoelectronic sensors. Current interests include developing our new approach for implementing nanotransistors for high-sensitivity detection in physiological solutions, applying this work to carry out measurements previously not possible for in-vitro and in-vivo extracellular and intracellular sensing, and developing new diagnostic devices for healthcare.
  • Nanoelectronic probes & cyborg cells. We are pursuing a broad range of studies focused on development of novel nanoelectronic devices for electrical recording and stimulation from cells and tissue in two and three dimensions. A general theme in this work is to exploit unique properties and size-scaling of active nanoelectronic devices for high spatial/temporal resolution studies of individual cells and subcellular structures. In addition, we have active efforts focused on (i) exploring the creation of cyborg cells and (ii) biochemical targeting of nanoelectronic devices to form well-defined cell/device junctions.
  • Cyborg tissue.  We are pursuing the development of novel biomaterials that seamlessly integrate arrays of nanoelectronic devices with synthetic tissues. This highly interdisciplinary work involves implementation of our new paradigm for 3D nanodevice arrays interconnected as tissue scaffolds, together with 3D cell culture and measurement techniques with applications, including advanced tissue-on-chip diagnostics and powerful new actively monitored/controlled tissue implants.

Selected Publications