Label-free molecular detection is the detection of chemicals without the use of a label. The Judith Su Little Sensor Lab specializes in developing methods and technology for analyzing nanoparticles without the use of labels. The goal is to remove expensive and complicated labels that pose the risk of changing the molecular properties of the unknown from the process of nanoparticle identification in order to decrease the expenditure of time and money in molecular detection. This decrease will allow for more research to be done in fields involving nanoparticles such as medicine and chemistry.
During my internship, I will be involved in the fabrication and testing of the label-free sensors. More specifically, I will help produce the optical resonators used for detecting nanoparticles. I will also be finding samples of water sources that contain cyanobacteria and preforming tests using both the new sensors and traditionally proven ELISA, a label technique for identifying substances using antibodies, to determine water quality and assessing accuracy.