Lecture by Prof. Gregory F. Payne (Nov 19, 2019)

TitleElectrochemistry to Enable an Information Processing Approach to Chemical Analysis

LecturerProf. Gregory F. Payne (University of Maryland, College Park)

TimeNov 19th,2019Tuesday 16:00

PlaceRoom 326, Chemistry Building(South)


Advances in information processing transformed our lives in the last half century: today, most of us will have at least one electronic device with us at all times.  However, it has been difficult to extend these advances to the processing of chemically-based information: the type of information that is integral to characterizing the activities in our biological world.  The “exception that proves the rule” is the glucometer.  The glucometer transformed the management of diabetes by allowing patients to access chemical information (blood glucose concentration) using a simple, rapid and portable device: yet no other portable measurement devices have emerged to have similar impacts on the practice of medicine.  We propose that the current definition of “chemical information” constrains opportunities and we are applying definitions from information sciences to circumvent these constraints.  Experimentally, we are using mediated electrochemistry as a means to probe for redox information (e.g., to detect signature patterns) and to transmit redox “messages”.  Here, we describe three examples of the use of mediated electrochemistry: characterizing the redox-differences between the eumelanin and pheomelanin pigments;1 the redox-based electrochemical actuation of engineered synthetic biology bacterial constructs;2 and the discovery of biomarker signatures of oxidative stress.3

1. Kang et. al. Reverse Engineering to Characterize Redox Properties: Revealing Melanin’s Redox Activity through Mediated Electrochemical Probing. Chem. Mater. 30, 5814 (2018).

2. Tschirhart et. al. Electronic Control of Gene Expression and Cell Behaviour in Escherichia Coli through Redox Signalling. Nat. Commun. 8 Article number: 14030 (2017).

3. Kang et. al. Signal Processing Approach to Probe Chemical Space for Discriminating Redox Signatures. Biosens. Bioelectron. 112, 127 (2018).

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