Lipid Multilayer Gratings as Biosensor, Speaker: Falko Brinkmann
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” 
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.
 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.