Photo of the BIO-SENS team taken in April 2022.


Bio-Inspired On-demand Strategies for Engineering Nanostructured Sensors 


The overarching goal of this project is the development of “universal” biotechnology sensing platforms to enable the use of advanced manufacturing principles in biomanufacturing.

We have assembled a geographically diverse team to address this need for the on-demand design of biosensors for continuous monitoring at the conditions of a biomanufacturing process. BIO-SENS will develop engineering principles to guide on-demand biosensor design covering the full assortment of sensor components: the recognition elements that bind analytes; the stimuli-responsive linkers that amplify the binding signal; the form factor of the sensor; and the final transduction of the signal. 

This research is coupled with a multi-tiered workforce development plan guided by an industry advisory board, including early-career faculty development; postdoctoral scholar training; graduate and undergraduate education; and K-12 education and community outreach, all tied together through an annual academic-industry biotechnology symposium.

BIO-SENS is funded by a National Science Foundation EPSCoR Award (#2119237).


Our work is carried out through four research projects:

  1. Design of new recognition elements (Co-PI Robert Pantazes; Auburn University)
  2. Design of analyte responsive polymers (Co-PI Eva Rose Balog; University of New England)
  3. Reproducible nanofabrication for multi-analyte measurements (Co-PI Caleb Hill; University of Wyoming)
  4. Transduction of sensor surface response (PI Jeffrey Halpern; University of New Hampshire).



BIO-SENS research efforts are complemented by a comprehensive workforce development plan that includes training of early-career faculty, postdoctoral scholars, graduate and undergraduate students, K-12 education, as well as community outreach. To ensure the success of these activities, each of these groups, as well as industry partners, will come together in-person or digitally at an annual Academic-Industry Biotechnology Symposium that will rotate through the four jurisdictions.


BIO-SENS will use the same economic modeling approach utilized in Maine's 10 year economic plan and extend this analysis to Alabama, New Hampshire, and Wyoming. This economic impact assessment is led by Dr. Andrew Crawley at the University of Maine. The model's “thematic” approach combines industrial, occupational, and skill-based data to assess long-term growth potential.  This unique approach will produce novel ways to capture the full economic impacts of BIO-SENS research and workforce development activities. 

JULY 2024 BIo-SENS Industry-Academic BIotechnology Symposium

Click here for more information on the symposium.

Click on the images below to learn more about The BIO-SENS Project:

Auburn University: Project 1 Lead      UNE Logo Project 2 Lead      Univ Wyoming Logo Project 3 Lead

UNH Logo Project 4 Lead       Workforce Development        Economic Impact Assessment