Rebecca Lai, Associate Professor

Rebecca Lai

Rebecca Y. Lai
Susan J. Rosowski Associate Professor of Chemistry

651 Hamilton Hall
Lincoln, Nebraska 68588-0304
Office: 402-472-5340
Lab: 402-472-2681

Research Interests

Our research program focuses on both fundamental and applied aspects of biosensor research. The main objective of our research is the design and fabrication of folding- and dynamics-based electrochemical biosensors. We aim at developing portable real-time biosensors for environmental monitoring and point-of-care diagnostics. Our sensing strategy is to link target-induced change in the conformation and/or flexibility of the biorecognition elements (e.g. peptides, nucleic acids) to a robust, electrochemical signaling mechanism. These sensors are reagentless, reusable, and insensitive to non-specific interactions of contaminants, thus enabling them to be employed directly in realistically complex media such as blood, urine, soil extracts, and a wide range of food matrices.

Undergraduate, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in my group can expect to receive training in fundamental electrochemistry, analytical chemistry, general biosensor design and fabrication. They also gain significant exposure to one or more of the following specialties: Design of folding- and dynamics-based electrochemical biosensors; design of electrocatalytic biosensors; biomaterials-electrode interface characterization; fabrication of microelectrodes and nanoelectrodes; scanning electrochemical microscopy; characterization of energy-related nanomaterials.

Recent Publications

  • Methylene Blue-Mediated Electrocatalytic Detection of Hexavalent Chromium. Korshoj, L. E.; Zaitouna, A. J.; Lai, R. Y.*, Anal. Chem., 2015, 87, 2560-2564.
  • Effects of DNA Probe and Target Flexibility on the Performance of a “Signal-on” Electrochemical DNA Sensor. Wu, Y.; Lai, R. Y.*, Anal. Chem., 2014, 86, 8888-8895.
  • Application of Electrochemical Surface Plasmon Resonance Spectroscopy for Characterization of Electrochemical DNA Sensors. Salamifar, S. E.; Lai, R. Y.*,Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 2014, 122, 835-839.
  • Hg(II)-mediated “Signal-on” Electrochemical Glutathione Sensor. Lofti Z. Z., H. R.; Lai, R. Y.*, Chem. Commun., 2014, 50, 8385-8387.
  • Use of Thiolated Oligonucleotides as Anti-fouling Diluents in Electrochemical Peptide-based Sensors. McQuistan, A.; Zaitouna, A. J.; Echeverria, E.; Lai, R. Y.*, Chem. Commun., 2014, 50, 4690-4692.
  • Fabrication of Electrochemical DNA Sensors on Gold-modified Recessed Platinum Nanoelectrodes. Salamifar, S. E.; Lai, R. Y.*, Anal. Chem., 2014, 86, 2849-2852.
  • Use of Combined Scanning Electrochemical and Fluorescence Microscopy for Detection of Reactive Oxygen Species in Prostate Cancer Cells. Salamifar, S. E.; Lai, R. Y.*, Anal. Chem., 2013, 85, 9417-9421.