Centre for Biological Signalling Studies

Prof. Gerald Urban

Prof. Gerald Urban

IMTEK, University of Freiburg

+49 761 203 7260


I am interested in the development of miniaturized and integrated sensor systems for biomedical analysis systems which can be used in system biology and clinical applications. My research interest covers the creation of complete miniaturized analysis systems, so-called lab-on-a-chip systems integrating biosensorarrays and microfluidics. Such integrated multianalyt bio- and chemosensor arrays can be used for measuring and monitoring of protein, oligonucleotide and metabolomic markers. These lab-on-chip systems can be used for cell microphysiometry to measure oxygen, pH, temperature, flow, glucose, lactate, glutamate, nitrogen monoxide, pH, and neurotransmitters to establish a screening platform for the analysis and monitoring of stem and tumor cells. The system could be applied in the future for cancer treatments and for systematic and controlled tissue engineering based on metabolic monitoring.

Additionally I am interested in the development of microbiosensor arrays for measuring protein markers by highly sensitive microcapillary immunoassays in body fluids. Such lab-on-a-chip system can be also used for oligonucleotide analysis in cell cultures. Such system joins the accumulation of organisms and digestion of cells with the purification of the molecules to be isolated and the detection of biomolecules, in particular small RNAs.

Another field of study is nanotechnology procedures, such as the synthesis of nanoparticles and the development of nanocomposites - in particular out of quantum dots -, metallic nanoparticles, and carbon nanotubes. These are used for nanosensorical analytics in the life sciences and for the production of fuel cells and photovoltaic devices. I am also involved in the deposition of nanofilms by means of magnetron-supported plasma polymerization for microsystemic and sensoric fields of application.



10 selected publications

  • Unamplified gene sensing via Cas9 on graphene
    Bruch R, Urban G, Dincer C (2019)
    Nat Biomed Eng. 3, 419 – 420
  • A lab-on-a-chip for preconcentration of bacteria and nucleic acid extraction
    Hügle M, Dame G, Behrmann O, Rietzel R, Karthe D, Hufert F, Urban G (2018).
    Rsc Adv. 8, 20124 – 20130
  • Microsensor systems for cell metabolism – from 2D culture to organ-on-chip
    Kieninger J, Weltin A, Flamm H, Urban G (2018).
    Lab Chip. 18, 1274 – 1291
  • On-Chip Photodynamic Therapy – Monitoring Cell Metabolism by Electrochemical Microsensors
    Marzioch J, Kieninger J, Weltin A, Flamm H, Aravindalochanan K, Sandvik J A, Pettersen E O, Peng Q, Urban G (2018)
    Lab Chip. 18, 3353 – 3360
  • Accessing 3D Microtissue Metabolism: Lactate and Oxygen Monitoring in Hepatocyte Spheroids
    Weltin A, Hammer S, Noor F, Kaminski Y, Kieninger J, Urban G (2017).
    Biosens Bioelectron. 87, 941 – 948
  • Biosensors and personalized drug therapy: what does the future hold?
    Dincer C, Bruch R, Wirth S, Schumann S, Urban G (2017)
    Expert Review of Precision Medicine and Drug Development. 2 (6), 303 - 305
  • Multianalyte Antibiotic Detection on an Electrochemical Microfluidic Platform.
    Kling A, Chatelle C, Armbrecht L, Qelibari E, Kieninger J, Dincer C, Weber W, Urban G.
    Anal Chem. 2016 Oct 18;88(20):10036-10043.
  • An Impedance Biosensor For Monitoring Cancer Cell Attachment, Spreading And Drug-Induced Apoptosis
    Nguyen T, Tiberius B, Pliquett U, Urban G.
    Sensor Actuat A-phys 2016;241:231 - 237
  • Nanocrystalline boron-doped diamond nanoelectrode arrays for ultrasensitive dopamine detection
    Dincer C, Ktaich R, Laubender E, Hees J J, Kieninger J, Nebel C E, Heinze J, Urban G.
    Electrochim Acta 2015;185:101 – 106
  • Self-assembled magnetic bead chains for sensitivity enhancement of microfluidic electrochemical biosensor platforms
    Armbrecht L, Dincer C, Kling A, Horak J, Kieninger J, Urban G.
    2015 Lab Chip. 2015 Nov 21;15(22):4314-21