Skip to main content

News & Events


Professor Ariel L. Furst

Wednesday, September 22, 2021
3:25 p.m.
Goergen 108

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"Electrochemistry for Sensors and SustainabilityElectrochemistry for Sensors and Sustainability"


Electrochemistry is an exceptionally powerful tool to monitor chemical and biological interactions. ByV engineering the interface at electrode surfaces, we have significantly improved the selectivity and sensitivity of electrochemical biosensors. Specifically, by combining electrochemistry with synthetic biology, we have developed a platform to detect biologically-active small-molecule environmental pollutants at sub-ppb levels. Similarly, by harnessing the inherent metabolic activity of pathogens, we can detect bacteria that cause food- and water-borne illnesses. Improvements have also been made to the patterning of non-adherent cells for microbial fuel cell applications. By combining improved chemistries for biomolecule modification with unique signal amplification strategies, we have successfully detected targets from extremely complex solutions and improved current generation in microbial fuel cells.


Ariel L. Furst is the Raymond (1921) & Helen St. Laurent Career Development Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT. She received a B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Chicago. She then completed her Ph.D. in the lab of Prof. Jacqueline K. Barton at the California Institute of Technology developing new cancer diagnostic strategies based on DNA charge transport. She was an A. O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of Prof. Matthew Francis at UC, Berkeley developing sensors to monitor environmental pollutants. Currently, her lab combines biological, chemical, and materials engineering to solve challenges in human health and environmental sustainability. She is passionate about STEM outreach and increasing participation of underrepresented groups in engineering.