Analytical

Research at UIC has created a hydrogen sulfide sensor that changes color in the presence of the gas.

The Analytical Chemistry Division includes several researchers who focus on a wide variety problems in bioanalytical and materials chemistry. Furthermore, several faculty from other divisions contribute effort to the division, include Jordi Cabana, Justin LorieauPreston Snee and Michael Trenary.

Stephanie Cologna studies the intersection of chemistry, biology and human medicine. Specifically, she is interested in using state-of-the-art mass spectrometry and allied analytical techniques to answer chemical and biological questions important to understanding and treating human diseases. Mass spectrometry has emerged as a powerful tool to study a range of biomolecules including peptides, proteins, lipids among others.  With recent developments in ionization techniques and mass analyzers, the high-throughput detection and quantification of analytes has become feasible. To this end, she is interested in understanding neurodegenerative disorders including a subset of diseases called lysosomal storage diseases.

Ruixuan (Rui) Gao's group is interested in exploring how basic molecular building blocks, such as proteins, lipids, and RNAs, assemble and interact with one another to achieve particular biological functions or cause dysfunctions. Specifically, Rui's group designs and synthesizes macromolecular matrices, supramolecular assemblies, and chemical linkers/probes to selectively target, detect, and visualize molecular entities and dynamics in cells and tissues. His group is also interested in developing new microscopy and bioimaging methods to map and track these molecular targets at nanoscopic resolution. Moreover, his group seeks to advance and apply spatial-omics-based approaches to complex biological processes and structures in living organisms. Rui's group uses these tools to study structures and processes central to biology and human health, such as the ultrastructure of synapses, chemical profile of synaptic transmission, long-range neuronal connections, and pathological effects of misfolded proteins in neuropathological brains.

Luke Hanley studies a wide array of problems at the interface of surface analysis, biomaterials, and bacterial biofilms. He has been developing new methods of three dimensional imaging of biological materials by laser desorption postionization mass spectrometry and related methods. His work also includes X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and the application of synchrotron radiation for photoionization and photoemission. His current research projects include surface chemical modification and analysis of biomaterials, probing antimicrobial transport from biomaterials into bacterial biofilms, and development of organic-inorganic nanocomposite films for nonlinear optical and photovoltaic applications.

Ying Hu's group develops fluorescence imaging techniques to study human immunity. The multidisciplinary imaging research combines single-molecule and super-resolution microscopy, nanotechnology, biochemistry, computational modeling, and T cell biology. Major research areas include 1) new super-resolution imaging tools, 2) membrane-associated signaling in immunity, and 3) nano-bio interactions for immunoengineering.

The Jiang group focuses on applying scanning probe-based nanotechnology in nanostuctures design and properties investigation. They are interested in fundamental science and applications at the nano-scale, including charge transfer, electron localization and generation, photoabsorption and photoemission, which are at the heart of the next generation single-molecule devices.

Scott Shippy develops tools and methods for collection and analysis of volume-limited biological samples. He uses novel fluidic tools to collect nanoliter to microliter samples of extracellular fluid from in vivo animal models and various forms of capillary electrophoresis, microfluidics and mass spectrometry to obtain chemical content information including amino acids, metabolites of nitric oxide and peptides and proteins. His interests are in using the analysis of the blood of individual drosophila (fruit fly) to study circadian rhythms and perfusion sampling of rodent brain or retina to study feeding behavior or diabetic retinopathy. His work also includes a multidisciplinary project to develop an implantable retinal prosthetic that utilizes light driven chemical stimulation.