Paul Yager Teaching
Bioengineering Department, Box 355061, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA


"BIOSENSORS, Principles and Practice"

PAUL YAGER and Guest Lecturers

MW 3:00 - 4:20 p.m.

Lowe 219

This course is designed to give graduate students (and qualified undergraduates) an in-depth acquaintance with the growing and complex field of biosensors. The material covered will familiarize the students with the sensors currently in use or under development, how they operate, and under what circumstances they can be useful. Emphasis will be given to critical comparison of different sensor modalities and how their limitations in realistic applications suggest the selection of one type of sensor over another. New material for this year will focus on DNA probes and microfluidic chemical analytical systems.

The course meets two times per week; the first of the meetings will be a formal introductory lecture on a sensor-related topic. The second meeting will be broken into three parts--the first will be a completion of the preceding lecture. The second portion will be a "Paper Review" presentation by Yager of one or two or papers that represent typical work in the field, supplemented by material that is necessary to understand them. The third segment will be an informal discussion session in which the students will first explain and then critique another research paper that they have been working on from the week before.

The main text is Principles of Chemical Sensors by Jiri Janata (JJ), and a secondary text is Biosensors: Fundamentals and Applications edited by Turner, Karube and Wilson (TKW). JJ is available for purchase at the University bookstore. Copies of TKW belonging to Bioengineering will be placed on reserve at the office of yager's secretary for your use. On the day of the lecture given each week one or more papers will be assigned. Master copies of the papers will be deposited by that afternoon at the desk of my secretary and can be picked up there for Xeroxing. Copies of the articles to be discussed that week should be brought to class.

Student Participation:
Students will be expected to perform three sets of tasks during the course.

The first is active and informed participation in the Discussion sections; failure to participate will result in the loss of credit.

Second, the research paper or papers discussed in the Discussion section will be the topic of a 3-5 page critique due at the beginning of the following "lecture", usually the following Monday. Discussion among students preparing these critiques is strongly encouraged, but the actual writing of each critique must be in the student's own words. Critiques more than one week overdue will not be accepted. The critiques must address at least the following questions:

  1. Do the authors adequately address the problems inherent in the problem attacked?
  2. Do the authors cover all the relevant literature up to the time of publication?
  3. What are the advantages and limitations of the sensor? (Be sure to consider lifetime, accuracy and precision, need for calibration, operating range, and operating conditions)
  4. What applications could be foreseen for the sensor?
  5. Are there other sensors that could do the job better?
  6. What improvements have been made since the publication date by the authors and others, and what ideas do you have to improve the sensor?

Third, there will be a take-home final examination. The exam will be handed out at the conclusion of the final class just before the Course Evaluations. It is due on the official date of the final exam at 5:00 PM in Yager's office. Discussion of the final examination among students is not permitted.


In Class Participation: 7 x (2 points) = 14 points
Written Critiques: 9 x (4 points) = 36 points
Final Examination: 50 points

TOTAL= 100 points

For resolution of problems call Paul Yager at 3-6126

Tentative Class Topics

Classification and Uses of Biosensors
The Chemistry of Enzymes
Protein Immobilization
Antibody Binding
DNA Probes
Thermal and Phase Transition Sensors
Acoustic/Mechanical Sensors
Potential-Based Sensors (pH and ISE)
Amperometric Sensors
Silicon Based Microsensors
Biocompatibility and Surface Fouling
Spectroscopies Used in Monitoring of Biomolecular Chemistry
Optical Waveguides
Microfluidic Chemical Analytical Systems
Sensor Integration and Systems Fabrication
Biomedical Sensing

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revised 3/19/98