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Laboratoire d'Electrochimie Moleculaire, LEM, Paris

UMR CNRS - Université Paris Diderot - Paris France

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USPC | Université Sorbonne Paris Cité Multidisciplinary university Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7 UFR de Chimie -  Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7 - Chemistry Department CNRS - Institute of Chemistry (INC)
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Research Group " BIONANO "

" Biomacromolecular Systems - Electron Transport at the Nanoscale"


Home> Research Groups > LEM "BIONANO"

The team is interested in the phenomenon of electron transport, coupled or not to enzymatic reactions, within nanoscale bioinspired systems integrating structures and biomimetic mechanisms. In particular, we seek to understand how the confinement and organization of redox biomolecules on the surface of nano-objects can modulate the efficiency of molecular recognition and enzymatic catalysis processes.

We seek to characterize these processes at the individual nano-object scale by means of mediator-tethered electrochemical microscopy (Mt/AFM-SECM), a functional imaging technique we invented. This local probe technique couples the electrochemical (SECM) and atomic force (AFM) microscopies into an original configuration where the redox species interrogated by the probe, "the mediator", is linked to the object to be imaged via a flexible chain. Mt/AFM-SECM microscopy is a state-of-the-art nano-electrochemical tool, one of the few that allows the electrochemical addressing of truly nanometric objects, and the only one capable of imaging of individual biomacromolecules.

Different original challenges are tackled, they have in common the need to develop new experimental strategies to allow unprecedented measurements at a nanometric scale.

The team's approach integrates the design and realization of molecular systems with bio-chains bearing redox probes, as well as the quantitative modeling of the functional properties of nano-systems.

Some of the team's current research topics are :

Development of a single molecule array platform based on gold nanoarrays addressed by Mt/AFM-SECM microscopy.

Mt/AFM-SECM microscopy complemented by the use of redox antibodies, as a new imaging tool for nano-bio-science: locating specific proteins on the surface of native viral particles.

Exploring the catalytic activity of enzymatic systems confined on viral nanoparticles.

Development of original instrumental strategies for the characterization of individual faradic events.

Keywords: Electrochemistry, electron transport, cyclic volttametry, mediator-tethered atomic Force - electrochemical microscopy, Mt/ AFM-SECM, Tip-attached redox mediator, Tarm/ AFM-SECM, functional imaging, viral nanotechnology, redox nanoparticles, nanoscale biostructures, virus nanocarriers, enzymes, enzymatic cascade, molecular recognition, modeling transport phenomena .

Press Highlights:  2004 Anal. Chem. ;  2015 JPK News

Other specific savoir-faire: Assembling of organized enzymatic systems at electrode surfaces by immunological reactions. Quantitative characterization of their catalytic behavior. Dynamics of short DNA on electrode surfaces.

Group Leader

Christophe Demaille (Senior Scientist, 2nd class, CNRS)

Members of the group (Nov. 2017)

Agnès Anne (Senior Scientist, 2nd class, CNRS)
Arnaud Chovin (Associate Professor, IUT Paris Diderot)

Khalil Chennit (IE ANR eVirzyim)
Telmo Paiva (PhD Student)
Rabia Djoumer (PhD, LEM- Electronic Engineer)

Electrochemical Imaging of Dense Molecular Nanoarrays - Anal. Chem. 2017 - DOI:10.1021/acs.analchem.7b03111  

Anal. Chem. 2017, 89, 11061

Small 2017, 13, 201603163  
Small 2017, 13, 201603163  
ACS Nano 2015, 9, 4911  
ACS Nano 2015, 9, 4911  

Savoir-Faire, Expertise of the group ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


ACS nano 2013 - Probing Individual Redox PEGylated Gold Nanoparticles by Mt/ AFM-SECM microscopy


Development of Electrochemical-Atomic Force Microscopies AFM-SECM

An experimental set-up, combining the imaging capabilities of Atomic Force (AFM) and of Electrochemical Microscopy (SECM) has been assembled. This required the development of a novel method for fabricating gold ultra-electrodes of submicrometer dimension, of well defined geometry, that could be used as combined AFM-SECM probes. We recently finalized the development of the imaging mode in two configurations : the Mt (Molecule-touching) /AFM-SECM aimed to single redox-macromolecule resolution, and the Tarm (for tip-attached redox mediators) AFM-SECM aimed to observe enzyme functioning.

Publications - selection : ACS Nano 2015, 7, 4151 Abstract - ACS Nano 2013, 7, 4151 Abstract - Anal. Chem. 2011, 83, 7924 Abstract - Anal. Chem. 2010, 82, 6353 Abstract - ACS Nano 2009, 3, 2927 Abstract - ACS Nano 2009, 3, 819 Abstract - J. Phys. Chem. B 2007, 111, 6051 Abstract - J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004, 126, 10095 Abstract -: Anal. Chem. 2003, 74, 6355 Abstract



Revealing Phenomena using Cyclic Voltammetry CV

Making use of the fast scan rate (kV/s) CV technique, originally developped in this laboratory, the rigidification of short DNA oligomers (20 bp), end-grafted to a gold electrode surface, upon their hybridization by unlabeled complementary strands present in solution, was demonstrated for the first time by our group. Recently, we demonstrated that, once optimized, electrode attached redox-peptide systems uniquely allow in-situ real-time CV monitoring of the action of proteases, and unraveled a specific and totally unexpected behavior of thrombin action (redox peptides created with Biopep spin-off (Horiba Medical France).

Publications: Langmuir 2012, 28, 8804 (peptide/thrombine) Abstract - Langmuir 2010, 26, 10347 (peptide/thrombine) Abstract - J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2003, 125, 1112 (ss/ds DNA) Abstract



Modeling the dynamics of polymeric biochains / the kinetic action of enzymes at interfaces

Our ability to model the motional dynamics of the redox heads of surface end-grafted semi-rigid polymeric chains allows the quantitative study of sequence-dependent DNA rigidification caused by hybridization. The group also models the kinetics of enzyme action on surface-attached aubstrates , delivering in Langmuir 2012 "A practical guide to progress curve analysis in any kinetic situation"

Publications - selection: Langmuir 2012, 28, 14665 (enzyme action) Abstract - J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 9812 Abstract - J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2006, 128 , 542 Abstract



Redox Functionalization : Enzymatic 3'- redox end-labeling of DNA

A unique ferrocene-2',3'-dideoxynucleotide compound has been synthetized for enzymatic 3'-redox mono-end-labeling of single-stranded DNA with terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TDT). TDT enzymatic incorporation of the ferrocene label in homogeneous phase which can be extended to end-grafted DNA monolayers on surfaces. The high efficiency of this elegant and universallabeling technique makes it particurlaly suitable for DNA chips technology.
Publications : J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129 - 2735, Abstract Bioconjugate Chem. 2001, 12, 396, Abstract

Recommended books CRC Press (USA)


Nanoelectrochemistry - CRC Press Book - 2015


Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy, Second Edition - CRC Press Book

Christophe Demaille - LEM


Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy, 2nd Ed.

  C. Demaille

Chapter(s) Author



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