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Prof. Fabio Di Francesco

Title of the PhD project:
Development of novel amplification-free biosensing strategies for the detection of nucleic acids

Abstract of the PhD project:
Recently, considerable interest has been paid to the development of electrochemical biosensors for the detection of nucleic acids, in order to remove weak points of traditional techniques based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Indeed, such techniques are time consuming and require trained personnel, laboratory equipment and expensive reagents which makes them unsuitable for point of care applications. Nucleic acids can be associated to infectious (generated by bacteria or virus) or genetic diseases, and in most cases the rapidity of diagnosis plays a crucial role. In this scenario the development of low cost, portable electrochemical biosensors with high sensitivity could be a valid alternative.
These typologies of biosensors are typically based on the hybridization process between a target and an immobilized oligonucleotide probe on the electrode surface. An amplification step is always required for these systems, because of the low concentration of nucleic acid in the matrices. In the last few years, a new programmable CRISPR/Cas-endonuclease system has been discovered, paving the way to the design new ultra-sensitive strategies. The combination of this new programmable and selective system with nano-modified electrodes can open a new class of amplification-free electrochemical biosensors for the detection of nucleic acid.

- Using Potentiometry and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy Techniques for Studying Effect of Nanomaterials on Salicylate Ion-selective Electrode Response. ANALYTICAL & BIOANALYTICAL ELECTROCHEMISTRY, 9(5), 562-573.

Oral communications at conferences:

Poster communications at conferences:
- Yousefnia Jahromi, Z., & MAZLOUM ARDAKANI, M., & VAFAZADEH, R. (2016). Using Impedance and Potentiometry Techniques for Study Effect of Multiwalled carbon nanotube carbon on IonSelective Response. Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Research Center of Iran, Volume22.
- Yousefnia Jahromi, Z., & MAZLOUM ARDAKANI, M., & VAFAZADEH, R. (2016). Investigation of Response of Salicylate Anion- Selective Electrode By Impedimetric and Potentiometric Techniques. Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Research Center of Iran, Volume22.

Other achievements:
- Received research grant from Iran Nanotechnology initiative council for master thesis project.


Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale
Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry
Via G. Moruzzi, 13 - Pisa, Italy
Corso di Dottorato in Scienze Chimiche e dei Materiali
Doctoral School in Chemistry and Material Science
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