Since October 2015
As a postdoctoral researcher I am working on the research project "Smart Cellular Scaffolds" within the Soft Matter and Biophysics unit at KUL. The goal of this project is to develop a novel biosensor platform for the detection of living cells. In a first phase we are mainly focusing on the detection of E. Coli cells in water and tumor cells in blood. The detection mechanism is based on the selective capturing of target cells by so-called surface imprinted polymer layers. Cell capture events are detected by various read-out techniques including impedance spectroscopy and heat transfer analysis. Within the project, I am in charge of optimizing the receptor synthesis protocol, studying the mechanisms of target-receptor rebinding and integrating the synthetic receptors into a biosensor platform for point-of-care diagnostics. Additionally, I am responsible for the day-to-day supervision of five PhD students within the group. I assist in the coordination of their research projects and I am closely involved in writing scientific publications and project proposals. Within the various projects, we colaborate with numerous national and internation partners including IMEC, ILVO, Maastrich University and Manchester Metropolitan University.
March 2014 --- March 2015
During this period, I was responsible for managing the Interreg IVa project "MircoBioMed" at the Institute for Materials Research. The sensitivity of the previously developed cell detection platform was further improved and new applications were tested. To this extent, the potential of the platform as a tool for monitoring the quality of cell cultures in times was examined. The project was a success, leading to both scientific publications and a device that was subjected to a patent application. In addition, I supervised up to 6 doctoral researchers working on different research projects, focused on the development of novel biosensor platforms for medical diagnostics.
November 2009 --- December 2014
During this period I was enrolled as a TA in Biophysics and Bio-electronics courses at Hasselt University. My responsibilities as a TA included teaching, planning and scheduling, supervising practical courses and the development of new practical courses for master students. Additionally, I was responsible for the supverision of several bachelor, master and PhD researchprojects. I was in charge of the projects' planning, supervising the students on a daily basis and guiding them in fields as diverse as GLP, data processing and analysis, problem solving and scientific writing.
November 2009 --- March 2014
During this period, I worked as a researcher in the BioSensor group at the Institute for Materials Research, a joint venture of Hasselt University and IMEC vzw. Within the frame of the "MicroBioMed" project I managed to develop a novel biosensor platform for the specific detection of tumor cells in buffer medium. The platform combined the unique characteristics of home-made synthetic cell receptors with the heat-transfer method (HTM), a in-house developed read-out technique that monitors the thermal transport over the receptor in time. The synthetic receptor consists of an imprinted polyurethane layer that is applied onto a chip. When the receptor captures a tumor cell, the heat flow through the chip is blocked, which in turn can be detected by the HTM module. The results of this research project have been summarized in various scientific publications and the platform was the subject of a US patent application.
July 2003 --- July 2009
I worked here for 7 years as a student worker (summer vacation), controlling the quality of the products and packaging them into the appropriate containers before sending them into transport.
R&D Scientific writingGrant PreparationGrant Writingpatent Cell biologybiobiosensingNanotechnologymatch makingPresentation SkillsEnglishdutchFrench
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Science from Universiteit Hasselt in 2014
master in Bioelectronics & nanotechnology from Universiteit Hasselt in 2009
Training and Certification
Labview Core 1 and 2 Certification
Radiation Protection Certification