Lab News

Bionanolab bid farewell to Kaidi Wang - Mitacs Globalink Student and also to Kristina Doxsee, Isaac Thevathasan and Michael Lissemore - summer interns on Sep 22, 2016 at the Brass Taps pub, University of Guelph



Left: Kristina Doxsee, Robin (Kristina's Daughter - see below pic by the Cannon) Jerry Jang, John Buozis, Cynthya Manohar, Jacqueline Fountain (hiding), Michael Lissemore, Isaac Thevathasan

Right: Suresh Neethirajan, Kaidi Wang (with a victory 'V') , Xuanjing Jiang, Xuan Weng, Nick Vanstone, Ryan Berthelot, Abdulmonem Murayyan, Dr. Gordon Hayward























                               Robin by the Cannon - Sep 22, 2016 - Thursday








Bionanolab undergraduate students have won major research prizes at the 2016 annual CPES Undergraduate poster session held at the Science Complex of the University of Guelph on Friday, August 5.  Over 40 posters were presented by the summer students who worked on various research projects from the 5 departments of the College of Physical & Engineering Science (CPES).

This is the 4th consecutive year, BioNanoLab members have been winning these poster awards. Check out the past Bionanolab best poster award winners at this competition


2013 -

2014 -

2015 -


2016 (Below)

Three of the current BioNanoLab members presented their research findings at the 2016 CPES undergraduate poster session held on August 5, 2016.

Michael Lissemore - 3rd Year Biological Engineering Student  - 'A Handheld Device for Rapid Detection of Food Adulterants Using Bulk Acoustic Wave Biosensors' 

Isaac Thevathasan - 2nd Year Biological Engineering Student - 'In Vitro Characterization of Camelina Sativa Antitumor Peptides against Colorectal Adenocarcinoma Cells' 

Kaidi Wang - Mitacs Globalink Student from Zhejiang University of China - 'Nanobiosensor for Egg White Food Allergen Detection' 


Michael Lissemore and Isaac Thevathasan also won the Best Poster Awards during the 2016 Canadian Society for Bioengineering Annual Meeting Conference held at Halifax during July 4 to 6, 2016 -


                 Michael Lissemore - winner of the 2nd Prize in the overall CPES Best Poster Award Category

                                          Isaac Thevathasan - Best Poster Award in the School of Engineering 

Michael Lissemore showing the field deployable food adulterant biosensor (working prototype) he built at the BioNano Laboratory

                Isaac Thevathasan at the Science Complex atrium on August 5, 2016 - CPES Poster Session 

Kaidi Wang - Mitacs Globalink Research Intern at the BioNano Lab presenting her research project on Food Allergen Biosensor

                                  Dr. Hayward and Dr. Suresh with Michael Lissemore at the CPES Poster Session. 



Professor Dr. Marius Henkel from the University of Hohenheim's Institute of Food Science and Biotechnology is visiting the BioNanoLab of the University of Guelph as a visiting scientist. 

Dr. Henkel is staying with us in the BioNanoLab from July 11 to July 29, 2016 and his stay is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) within the Strategic Network Bio-based Economy (BECY) fellowship program. 

Dr. Henkel will be delivering a lecture on July 26, 2016 Tuesday to the UoG's scientific and public community on a topic 'Model-Based Concepts in Bioprocess Engineering: Design, Optimization and Control'

More details about Dr. Henkel's Leadership Lecture Series can be found at: (pdf)   All are welcome to attend the lecture. 


A strike against deadly allergies   (link)

Waterloo Region Record

Sabrina Shannon was 13 years old when she ate her last meal in the cafeteria of Bishop Smith Catholic High School in Pembroke, Ontario.

Sabrina had a life-threatening allergy to soy, peanuts and dairy. She carried medication and was careful to ask questions before eating anything not made at home. She had tried the French fries served in the school cafeteria before with no problems.

But this time, the tongs used to serve the fries had also touched poutine, which includes cheese curds with the fries. That mistake had dreadful consequences. Sabrina started wheezing in class after lunch. Teachers rushed to help her, but it was too late. She collapsed and went into cardiac arrest before the ambulance arrived. She died the following day: Sept. 30, 2003.

Her iconic, tragic story inspired "Sabrina's Law," a legal requirement that school staff in Ontario be trained in delivering medication to people with life-threatening allergies. It also serves as a stark reminder of the perilous, precarious existence of thousands of Canadians who have deadly allergies. One moment of inattention or misunderstanding can cost a life.

If only Sabrina, and the dozens of Canadians who have died since as a result of food allergies, had lived to hear the news of a wonderful new device being developed at University of Guelph.

Suresh Neethirajan and associates at the BioNano lab have created a tool that uses nanotechnology to detect minute amounts of allergens in food. This device, about the size of a cell phone, can be used by an inspector at a processing plant or a customer at a restaurant. A small sample of the food is mixed with water and injected into a silicon-based plate. The plate is treated to detect allergens like peanuts and gluten in very low concentrations — think of a couple of drops of water in an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Instead of an analysis done in a lab that takes two or three days, this invention requires just two or three minutes for the results to be sent to a smartphone app. 

In a disturbing trend that scientists don't quite understand, medical emergencies involving life-threatening allergies have increased dramatically over the years. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Statistics, the number of emergency room visits for this situation was 6,035 in 2013-14 in Ontario and Alberta. That's more than double what it was seven years earlier. Most people survive, but about a dozen times a year across the country, they die. We owe a vote of thanks to Neethirajan and colleagues for their work ensuring that the odds for these uniquely vulnerable people will soon be far better.

Contact Us

Bionanotechnology Laboratory
Suresh Neethirajan

School of Engineering
University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario
Canada N1G 2W1

Room 3513 - Richards Building
50 Stone Road East

Lab: THRN 2133 BioNano Lab

Phone: (519) 824-4120 Ext 53922
Fax: (519) 836-0227


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