Nanoporous Gold: From an Ancient Material to Biomedical Devices

A presentation by Erkin ┼×eker, Ph.D.



Nanostructured materials offer tremendous opportunities for engineering advanced device
coatings for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Nanoporous gold (np-Au), produced by a nano-
scale self-assembly process, is a relatively new material and has mostly attracted attention for
catalyst applications due to its high effective surface area and electrical conductivity. Surprisingly, the
biomedical potential of this material has remained largely untapped. I will first discuss our research
efforts to control nano-/micro-scale properties of np-Au and the application of micropatterning
techniques for fabricating high-fidelity multiple electrode arrays for neural electrophysiology studies. In
the context of biocompatibility of such devices, I will illustrate how drug delivery capability and
topographical features of np-Au may be utilized to alleviate adverse biological response to device
coatings. In another example, I will illustrate np-Au’s diagnostic potential in detecting and purifying
nucleic acid biomarkers in complex biological samples. I will conclude the talk with our ongoing efforts
toward constructing high-throughput material screening platforms for identifying optimal material
properties for emerging applications of np-Au.