Posted: 4/18/2022


The Biosensing program is part of the Engineering Biology and Health cluster, which also includes 1) the Biophotonics program; 2) the Cellular and Biochemical Engineering program; 3) the Disability and Rehabilitation Engineering program; and 4) the Engineering of Biomedical Systems program.

The Biosensing program supports fundamental engineering research on devices and methods for measurement and quantification of biological analytes. Examples of biosensors include, but are not limited to, electrochemical/electrical biosensors, optical biosensors, plasmonic biosensors, and paper-based and nanopore-based biosensors. In addition to advancing biosensor technology development, proposals that address critical needs in biomedical research, public health, food safety, agriculture, forensic, environmental protection, and homeland security are highly encouraged. Proposals that incorporate emerging nanotechnology methods are especially encouraged.

Full Proposal Accepted Anytime

Proposals submitted to other program announcements and solicitations, including the Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER), must meet their respective deadlines; please refer to the deadline dates specified in the appropriate announcement or solicitation. Proposals for EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) or Rapid Response Research (RAPID) can be submitted at any time but Principal Investigators must contact the cognizant program director prior to submission. Proposals for supplements or workshops can be submitted at any time, and PIs are encouraged to contact the cognizant PD prior to submission.

Areas of Interest

Areas of interest include:

·         multiplex biosensing platforms that exceed the performance of current state-of-the-art devices;

·         novel transduction principles, mechanisms and sensor designs suitable for measurement in practical matrix and sample-preparation-free approaches, including error-free detection of pathogens and toxins in food matrices, waterborne pathogens, parasites, toxins, biomarkers in body fluids, neuron chemicals, and others that improve human condition;

·         biosensors that enable measurement of biomolecular interactions in their native states, transmembrane transport, intracellular transport and reactions, and other biological phenomena;

·         biosensing performance optimization for specific health applications such as point-of-care testing and personalized health monitoring;

·         miniaturization of biosensors for lab-on-a-chip and cell/organ-on-a-chip applications to enable measurement of biological properties and functions of cell/tissues in vitro;

·         biosensing systems with integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning;

·         biosensors that exploit quantum correlations to develop a suite of analytical tools that will have superior performance over ordinary classical biosensing technology; and

·         biosensors that leverage unique electrical properties of biomolecules, such as DNA; proteins; cells; and the nervous system to develop miniaturized biomedical devices for modulating and characterization of biological species.

The Biosensors Program does not encourage proposals addressing surface functionalization and modulation of bio-recognition molecules, development of basic chemical mechanisms for biosensing applications, circuit design for signal processing and amplification, computational modeling, and microfluidics for sample separation and filtration. Medical imaging-based measurements are outside of the scope of the program interests. Proposals that rely heavily on descriptive approaches are given lower priority. Proposals for optimizing and/or utilizing established methods for specific applications should be directed to programs focused on the application of sensor technology.

Amount Description

The duration of unsolicited proposal awards in CBET is generally up to three years.  Single-investigator award budgets typically include support for one graduate student (or equivalent) and up to one month of PI time per year (awards for multiple investigator projects are typically larger). Proposal budgets that are much larger than typical should be discussed with the program director prior to submission. 


Funding Type
Sponsor: Rolling