Microelectronics Center of Provence (FRANCE)

The The Department of Bioelectronics (BEL), created in 2009, is located at the Centre Microelectronique de Provence (CMP) of the Mines, Saint-Etienne college. Research conducted at BEL is focused at the interface between organic electronics and life sciences. More specifically, the three axes of research are (1) neural interfacing, (2) biosensors for diagnostics and toxicology, and, (3) tissue engineering. Current personnel at BEL includes 4 permanent staff, 6 postdocs, 7 PhD students and a biology laboratory technician. The plan for this newly established department is to reach 7 permanent staff within the next 5 years. BEL has laboratories dedicated to (i) fabrication and characterisation of organic bioelectronic devices and (ii) biochemistry and cell culture. BEL researchers have access to an 800 m2 cleanroom at the CMP, where processes have been developed that allow the microfabrication of organic electronic devices. Since its creation, BEL has been a leader in the field of organic bioelectronics.

Key people involved I: George Malliaras

Professor George Malliaras is the Head of the Department of Bioelectronics (BEL) at the Microelectronics Center of Provence (France). He received a BS in Physics from the Aristotle University (Greece) in 1991, and a PhD in Mathematics and Physical Sciences, cum laude, from the University of Groningen (the Netherlands) in 1995. After a two year postdoc at the IBM Almaden Research Center (California), he joined the faculty in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Cornell University (New York). From 2006 to 2009 he served as the Lester B. Knight Director of the Cornell NanoScale Science & Technology Facility. He joined the Microelectronics Center of Provence in 2009. His research on organic electronics and bioelectronics has been recognised with awards from the New York Academy of Sciences, the US National Science Foundation, and DuPont. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Key people involved II: Róisín Owens

Róisín Owens is an Associate Professor in the Department of Bioelectronics (BEL) at the Centre Microélectronique de Provence of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Étienne. She received her BA in Biochemistry at Trinity College Dublin, in Ireland, and her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Southampton University in the U.K. She completed a 4 year postdoctoral fellowship with Professor David Russell in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Cornell University, studying lipid metabolism of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This was followed by a 1.5 year appointment at Agave BioSystems, a small biotechnology company in Ithaca, New York. There, Dr. Owens was involved in developing immunological and biochemical methods for the detection of cancers and pathogenic organisms. A newfound interest in coupling biological systems with engineering led her back to Cornell University but this time in the Department of Biomedical Engineering where she worked as a Research Associate in the laboratory of Dr. Moonsoo Jin, to engineer proteins for rhinovirus therapeutics, as well as the development of nanoparticles for in vivo targeting. She has a wide range of expertise in the areas of protein and lipid biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology and immunology. She has received several awards including the European Research Council starting grant, a Marie Curie reintegration fellowship, and an EMBO fellowship.

Key people involved III: Patrick Fournet

Patrick Fournet is managing the €3.8m, 12-partner Marie-Curie ITN consortium, entitled “OrgBIO” (Organic Bioelectronics). He is ensuring the fulfilment of the managerial, scientific & financial tasks described in the project's agreement. Patrick received his Ph.D. in Physics from Trinity College Dublin (Ireland) in 2003, after completing an M.Eng. in Materials Science at INSA Lyon (France) in 1999. Patrick has recently been awarded an M.Sc. in Management of Operations from Dublin City University (Ireland) and a Business Administration and Management qualification from the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (France). He has both led and managed R&D projects at early stage companies and at universities, and launched and administered university spin-off companies.

Role in the project

Development of sensors based on organic electronic devices

Recruited researcher I: Marcel Brändlein

Project title

Development of novel sensors based on organic electronic devices



Recruited researcher II: Anna-Maria Pappa

Project title

Multi-metabolite detection on an organic electronic device