Max Planck Seminar Recognizes the Work of Professors Arnold and Teraoka

The Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, part of Germany’s premier research institution for basic science, held a weeklong seminar on biosensing at the very smallest extremes, during which research developed at the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering played a key role. Professor Stephen Arnold of the Departments of Applied Physics and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering presented his research.

Arnold and collaborators laid the groundwork for the Whispering Gallery Mode Resonator, which senses at the molecular level. Last year, they published the results of experiments that set a record for label-free detection of molecules even below the smallest known virus marker. The ability to detect and measure molecules without attaching “labels” during the process aids accuracy, and last year’s accomplishment opens the possibility for detecting nano-scale antibodies—produced by the body in reaction to invading viruses—well before current medical tests could detect the virus itself.

The seminar brought together researchers, particularly students and newcomers, who use the patented Whispering Gallery Mode Resonators for molecular diagnostics, single-molecule analysis, nanoparticle detection, and manipulation, as well as other forms of bio-sensing and various commercial and scientific applications.

Arnold’s presentation is entitled, “Taking Microcavity Label-free Single Molecule Detection deep into the Protein Realm.”

Iwao Teraoka, an associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering who collaborated in early work on the Whispering Gallery Mode Resonator, was invited to present research on a new biosensor that he is developing.

The seminar, “Taking Detection to the Limit: Biosensing with Optical Micro-cavities,” held over the week of April 14, was supported by the Wilhem and Else Heraeus Foundation. The Max Planck Institute is a leader in accelerating the transfer of technology to practical applications and commercialization.