Jenna Rickus

Jenna Rickus

Jenna L. Rickus
Purdue University
225 S. University St.
West Lafayette, IN 47906
tel.: (765) 494-1197
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Research website

Dr. Rickus is a biological engineer with interdisciplinary training in cell biology and biochemistry. Over the last 13 years, her research has focused on engineered biomaterials for the biosensing and actuation of living cells and tissue. Her expertise is in the synthesis and application of biofunctional materials for biosensors and biocompatible therapeutics, particularly in the brain and pancreas. These materials are based on sol-gel condensation and chemically/physically-induced polymerization of protein-doped and peptide-modified polymer composites, which enable engineered materials to communicate biologically with living cells. We have further enhanced the biofunctionality of these materials by nano-structuring the interfaces to improve the sensitivity of biomolecule-based biosensors and the biointerface surface to improve the biocompatibility of the material-cell interface.Dr. Rickus' lab collaborates heavily with other researchers to integrate their materials into devices, implants, and 3D culture to create integrated platforms for sensing and actuating cells.

Research agenda

The Rickus lab is implementing optrode biosensors for the dynamic monitoring of peptide hormones including ghrelin. The optrodes integrate aptamer-nanoparticle chemistries with a fluorescent output that changes dynamically with hormone concentration. The sensor chemistry is integrated within photo-patterned porous materials grown at the tip of optical fibers. The fibers are couple into optical bionodes from Irazoqui's group to create a wireless implantable device.

Selected publications

  • T.G.Cha, B.A. Baker, M.D. Sauffer, Janette Salgado, D.Jaroch, J.L. Rickus, D. Marshall Porterfield, and Jong Hyun Choi. 2011. Optical Nanosensor Architecture for Cell-Signaling Molecules Using DNA Aptamer-Coated Carbon Nanotubes. ACS Nano. 5 (5), pp 4236–4244.
  • Rajtarun Madangopal, Matthew Stensberg, Marshall D. Porterfield, Jenna L. Rickus. 2012. “Directed enzyme deposition via electroactive polymer-based nanomaterials for multi-analyte amperometric biosensors”. Proceedings of the IEEE Sensors 2012. Taipai, Taiwan
  • S.S. Jedlicka, M.Dadarlat, Y. Lin, A. Young , M. Zhang, T.J Hassell, , P.P. Irazoqui, J.L. Rickus , 2009. “Calibration of Neurotransmitter Release from Neural Cells for Therapeutic Implants.” International Journal of Neural Systems. 19:197-112.
  • J.J. Koehler, J.Zhao, S.S. Jedlicka, D.M.Porterfield, J.L. Rickus. 2008. “A Compartmentalized Nanocomposite for Dynamic Nitric Oxide Release” J. Physical Chemistry. 1112(47) p. 15086–15093
  • Zhao, J., Jedlicka, S.J., Lannu, J.D., Bhunia, A.K., Rickus, J.L. 2006. “Liposome-doped Nanocomposites as Artificial-Cell-Based Biosensors: Detection of Listeriolysin O”, Biotechnology Progress, 22:32-37 (Top 10 Cited Articles in 2006 for Biotechnology Progress)