Jiri Homola

Jiří Homola


Jiri Homola received his MS (1988) from the Czech Technical University and PhD (1993) from the Czech Academy of Sciences. From 1993 to 1997 he worked at the Institute of Photonics and Electronics, Prague as a Research Scientist. From 1997 to 2002 he was with the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle (USA), since 2001 as a Research Associate Professor. From 2003 he has been with the Institute of Photonics and Electronics in Prague and has been responsible for the optical biosensors research program. In 2009, he received his DSc. degree in technical sciences from the Czech Academy of Sciences and in 2014 he became Professor of physics at Charles University in Prague. From 2009 to 2019, he was Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington, Seattle.

His research interests are in photonics and biophotonics, in particular in optical sensors and biosensors. He investigates photonic and plasmonic phenomena and pursues the development of sensor instrumentation, microfluidic devices, and functional coatings for optical biosensors for molecular biology, medical diagnostics, food safety, and security. He edited 2 books and authored over 170 research papers in peer-reviewed journals. He also holds 11 patents. He has received the Roche Diagnostics Prize for Sensor Technology, Award for Outstanding Research of the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic, and Premium Academiae of the Czech Academy of Sciences, among other awards. He has been elected Fellow of the Learned Society of the Czech Republic and Fellow of the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE). He serves as associate editor of Biosensors and Bioelectronics (Elsevier).

Keynote presentation: 
Plasmonic biosensors and their biomedical applications

Optical biosensors hold promise for applications in numerous important areas, such as molecular biology, medical diagnosis, environmental monitoring, food safety and security. Surface plasmons are special modes of electromagnetic field that can be excited at the metal-dielectric interface and allow for high confinement of the electromagnetic field at the metal surface. Affinity biosensors based on optically excited surface plasmons (often referred to as plasmonic biosensors) represent the most advanced optical label-free biosensor technology. In the past two decades, plasmonic affinity biosensors have become the main tool for the real-time investigation of biomolecular interactions. Plasmonic biosensors have also been researched for the detection of chemical and biological species. However, their penetration in clinical applications has remained rather limited [1, 2].

In this presentation, we introduce plasmonic affinity biosensors, discuss the main challenges in the development of plasmonic biosensors for medical diagnostics and present selected advances in plasmonic biosensor research that aim to address some of these challenges. These include advances in plasmonic nanostructures and instrumentation, microfluidic systems, functional materials, and detection assays. Examples of medical applications of advanced plasmonic biosensors are also presented. The first example is related to the development of plasmonic biosensors for the diagnosis of Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS - a group of hematological malignancies with a risk of progression into acute myeloid leukemia). In particular, a new approach to the detection of MDS-related microribonucleic acids (miRNAs) is described and shown to be able to detect miRNAs in blood plasma at physiologically relevant (sub-fM) concentrations [3]. The second example is concerned with the biosensor-based study of the role of pregnancy associated plasma protein A2 (PAPP-A2) in prognosis of patients with renal system disorder.

[1] H. Altug, S.H. Oh, S.A. Maier, J. Homola, Nature Nanotechnology, 17, 5–16 (2022).
[2] M. Bocková, J. Slabý, T. Špringer, J. Homola, Annual Review of Analytical Chemistry, 12, 151–176 (2019).
[3] T. Špringer, Z. Krejčík, J. Homola, Biosensors and Bioelectronics 194, 113613 (2021).

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