Ping Lab | Materially Advacing Bio-Interfacing

This image shows using a graphene-based nanodevice to measure pA-level through-pore charge flow that is driven by a gold nanoparticle (AuNP) enlosed in an open-pore Archaeoglobus fulgidus ferritin. Based on the measurement, the sturcutre and function of the cage-like protein conjugated to a nanoparticle, can be quatified. This research highlights the promise of low-cost, high-sensitivity biosensing systems enabled by atomic-layer nanomaterials, with applications in healthcare, diagnostics, and environmental monitoring.

A paper on this topic was published in Chemical Science and selected as one of the HOT artciles in Chemical Science Blog. It was also highlighted by myScience, Medium, TrendinTech, Penn News, etc.


Nanomaterials are materials with at least one of their three dimensions limited to nanometer, that is, a scale that quantum effects emerge. Two-dimensional (2D) materials is a class of nanomaterials with outstanding electrical, mechanical, chemical, and bio-transducing properties. Using methods based on chemical vapor deposition, 2D materials can be prepared in large scale (~ m) and high quality with tunable strength, transparency, disorder density, and electron transport properties.

Development of High-Performance 2D-Bio Interface Technologies

Interfacing biosystems with 2D materials by developing 2D-enabled biosensing devices and systems provides significant opportunities for interrogating the life activities and biological/physiological properties (pH, electrostatic potential, structure & function, concentration, etc.) of biosystems with unprecedented sensitivity, spatiotemporal resolution, and efficiency in power, size, cost, and time.

Translation of 2D-Based Biosensors

Device structures based on 2D materials can be translated into precise, point-of-use, portable (PPP) biomsensing tools for healthcare, screening/diagnosis of diseases such as HIV and cancer, or even environmental monitoring. Another application of 2D-based devices/systems is implantable arrays of graphene microelectrodes for chronic monitoring of life activities/effects, which can be enabled by the extremely high power-efficiency (< 1 nW cm-2) of the reference-free Faradaic charge-transferring we discovered, along with the high-precision (resolution ~fA) electrometer-based measuring methodology we developed.