Together, they mean to make the institute a world-class bionanotechnology center.
As an INSI member, Lenhert will collaborate on the Institute's cutting-edge research with distinguished faculty from cell and molecular biology, chemistry and biochemistry, materials science, chemical and biomedical engineering, and physics.
The paper he and coworkers published ("Lipid multilayer gratings") in Nature Nanotechnology describes a DPN-based technique he devised at his former institutions, Germany's University of Muenster and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. The technique has promising biological applications. It enables the color-coded detection of various molecules through diffraction of light and thin, nanoscale layers of lipids.
"We ended up with a fundamentally new class of material in effect, a biometamaterial, which is a biomaterial that doesn't exist in nature," Lenhert said.
"It acts as a biosensor, which responds to the presence of a biological agent by combining a sensitive biological element with a physical device," he said. "Our biosensor actually makes the physical device out of the biological element itself.
"The closest real-world application for this material is in medical diagnostics," Lenhert said. "The idea would be to have a portable, affordable and disposable chip that could allow your mobile phone to diagnose medical conditions that currently require a visit to a doctor and samples being sent to a laboratory. This concept is known as 'lab on a chip,' and it could analyze, say, blood or urine. A home pregnancy test is a similar example that already works, but other kinds of tests still need actual, advanced laboratories."
Lenhert is a chess master who plays competitively, when he's not in his laboratory. Born in Salt Lake City, he received his doctoral degree in 2004 f
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Florida State University