Lipid Multilayer Gratings as Biosensor, Speaker: Falko Brinkmann

Falko Brinkmann
Friday, October 18, 2013 - 12:00pm
Hudson Hall Room 208 @ 11:45 (Lunch) 12:00 (talk)
Seminar Contact(s): 
Wes Ross (
Semester & Year: 
Fall 2013




Presenting scientific projects in an easy and entertaining way has become a trend in

Europe within the last three years. Events called “Science Slam” bring students,

researchers and non-scientific audiences together. One talk takes ten minutes, the

audience judges understanding, creativity and amusement at the end.

In this talk, Falko will present a biosensor based on “Lipid Multilayer Gratings” [1]

which is the purpose of his research project at Duke University.

The interaction of electromagnetic waves with matter can be controlled by structuring the

matter on the scale of the wavelength of light, and various photonic components have

been made by structuring materials using top-down or bottom-up approaches. Dip-pen

nanolithography is a scanning-probe-based fabrication technique that can be used to

deposit materials on surfaces with high resolution and, when carried out in parallel, with

high throughput. Lyotropic optical diffraction gratings – composed of biofunctional lipid

multilayers with controllable heights between ~5 and 100nm – can be fabricated by lipid

dip-pen nanolithography. Multiple materials can be simultaneously written into arbitrary

pattern on pre-structured surfaces to generate complex structures and devices, allowing

nanostructures to be interfaced by combinations of top-down and bottom-up fabrication

methods. Fluid and biocompatible lipid multilayer gratings allow label-free and specific

detection of lipid-protein interactions in solution. This biosensing capability takes

advantage of the adhesion properties of the phospholipid superstructures and the changes

in the size and shape of the grating elements that take place in response to analyte binding.

[1] Lenhert, S., Brinkmann, F. et al., Nature Nanotechnology 5, 275-9 (2010)



Falko is a visiting scholar at Duke from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), one

of Germany’s largest and most prestigious research institutions. He received his

Diploma Degree (equivalent to M.Sc.) in Solid State Physics and Business Chemistry

from the University of Muenster in 2009. Currently a PhD candidate at KIT, Falko is

working in Dr. Stefan Zauschers lab while he is a visiting scholar at Duke. He is author

to a number of papers in his field, including one published in Nature Nanotechnology.