Ricardo Hidalgo González

Ricardo’s research interests are in the area of bioinorganic chemistry and bioelectrochemistry. He is a graduate of the University of Costa Rica (BSc(Hons) in Chemistry), and completed his PhD in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Oxford, under the supervision of Prof. Kylie Vincent. For his PhD research, he applied electrochemical and spectroscopic methods to investigate electron transfer reactions of bacterial metalloenzymes. He won a Polonsky Foundation Award from Lincoln College Oxford, and was also awarded a Science and Technology scholarship from the Costa Rican government for his doctorate studies. Ricardo has engaged in teaching during both his undergraduate and postgraduate work, and enjoys science communication. He has now joined the group of Gabriel Gomila at IBEC where he will be applying electrochemical methods for the study of extracellular electron transfer and its applications to nanobiosensing.

Group: Nanoscale bioelectrical characterization
Supervisor: Gabriel Gomila
Project: Bacterial nanowires: electron transport properties and application to nanobiosensor development

It has been shown recently that some bacterial species are able to transfer electrons directly to solid substrates (Extracellular Electron Transfer). This phenomenon opens up new possibilities for electronic and electrochemical technologies with unique properties because of its purely biological origin: the sensing and transducing systems coincide in a single element, and the composition of the bacterial component can be modified by means of genetic engineering techniques. This makes it sensitive to a large variety of ligands and biomarkers.

The present project proposes to study the use of the bacteria, and of its components, in the development of biosensors for the detection of biomarkers at very low concentrations. To this end, the electric and electrochemical properties of the bacteria will be investigated, as well as its response to specific ligands, by means of electrochemical and scanning probe microscopy techniques.