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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Guest Speaker Tsuyoshi Minami Discusses Organic Transistor-Based Chemical Sensors at NASC Colloquium

The Colgate University Core Sciences Department hosted a colloquium that covered organic transistor-based chemical sensors for real-sample analysis on Friday, Feb. 2. The guest speaker at this event was Tsuyoshi Minami, an associate professor of industrial sciences at the University of Tokyo. 

Minami presented the audience with faults of the current real-sample analysis technology. The common instrumental approach calls for skilled personnel and time-consuming practices. Alternatively, Minami proposed an approach that would revolve around chemical sensor devices based on organic field effect transistors (OFETs).

The purpose of OFET sensors was to make the detection process of real-sample analysis much quicker and efficient. Minami described the potential benefits of his approach using OFETs.

“The switching profiles of OFETs can be used as a signal to read-out molecular recognition information,” Minami said. 

Minami explained how the current approach to real-sample analysis calls for large analytical instruments that are expensive and time-consuming. The switch to Minami’s method would place more of an emphasis on quantitative detection of hormones through the use of sensors.

“A chemical sensor is a device that transforms chemical information, ranging from the contraception of a specific sample component to total composition analysis,” Minami said.

Being able to detect molecular information through the use of OFET devices would allow for a more practical method of targeting molecules. 

Minami explained an experiment he conducted that targeted the hormone oxytocin. Minami’s aim was to develop an extended-gate type OFET for oxytocin detection in human saliva. The saliva samples were injected into the OFET-based sensor for a quantitative analysis. 

“The oxytocin levels in human saliva would be an indicator to monitor the relationship between psychological changes and peripheral effects,” Minami said.

First-year Kiran George described her interest in the colloquium as a student looking to learn more about real-sample chemical analysis.

“I was interested in seeing how instead of detecting the hormone before the injection, Minami injected the hormone and waited on the reaction that would occur with the human saliva,” George said. “It is a special experience to be able to hear from someone who has studied this field from across the world, and was able to bring his expertise to Colgate.” 

This is the first of the Natural Science Colloquium series events for this semester. Lauren Philbrook, assistant professor of psychology and one of the coordinators of the series, discussed the focus around these events. 

“The goal of the series in general is to bring in speakers spanning all different areas of the natural sciences and math. This semester we have speakers from chemistry, environmental studies, physics, biology, math and psychology,” Philbrook said. “We ask the speakers to pitch their topics to a broad audience to inspire interdisciplinary conversations.”

First-year Holly O’Brien talked about what intrigued her throughout the colloquium.

“While I don’t plan on pursuing a study of natural sciences, it was very inspiring to see Minami talk about his work and have so much knowledge on the topic,” O’Brien said. “His presentation showed his immense skill and how his work continues to impact the world.”

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