PhD position – “Nanoelectronics and microfluidics for DNA computation”


PhD position at IEMN-CNRS: (October 2014 start date)

“Nanoelectronics and microfluidics for DNA computation”

Keywords: DNA computing, microfluidics, nanoelectronics, nanobiotechnology, microfabrication

Life possesses a remarkable ability to perform complex computation while relying on networks of intertwined chemical reactions. Replicating this ability is of major importance in fields ranging from unconventional computation to biosensors and smart autonomous systems to cite just a few. Using DNA itself for computation can be traced back to the seminal paper by Adelman [1] which illustrated the power of the massively parallel processing of information permitted by DNA by attempting to solve NP-complete system. Since then, several other approaches have been developed [2-3]. The most recent DNA computing framework was developed by Rondelez et al. [4-5] and relies on a combination of short DNA strands and enzyme to create dynamical system which can be used for computation.
Several issues remain in our views to fully exploit these discoveries and turn them into real life technologies. In particular, the ability to interact with and monitor these complex systems is a key requirement for their complexification.

This project will thus aim at lifting current scientific and technological barriers which prevent the realization of a programmable DNA computer. We will develop and test novel nano- sensors and actuators to interact with the DNA computer. We will furthermore design and fabricate a microfluidic platform able to integrate this various elements and to manage the liquid function required to perform complex calculation using DNA.

The candidate:
The project presented here is very interdisciplinary as it sits between system chemistry, biochemistry, nanotechnology, microfluidics, information science and system engineering. We are thus looking for candidate with both strong academic records and the interest and drive to work on such a challenging project.

1. Adleman, L. (1994). Science, 266(5187), 1021–1024.
2. Zhang, D. Y., & Seelig, G. (2011). Nature chemistry, 3(2), 103–13.
3. Seelig, G., Soloveichik, D., Zhang, D. Y., Winfree, E. (2006) Science, 314(5805), 1585–8.
4. Montagne, K., Plasson, R., Sakai, Y., Fujii, T., Rondelez, Y. (2011). 7(466), 466.
5. Padirac A, Fujii T, Rondelez Y. (2012) PNAS 20;109(47):E3212-20.

Candidates should send a CV, cover letter explaining their interest for this topic and contact information for two references to Alexis VLANDAS (

Description of the Laboratory:

IEMN is a research institute created by the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), two universities and an Engineer school of France northern region. IEMN equipment for design, fabrication and characterization of micro/nano devices are at the best European level. The institute has a total staff of about 500 persons including 109 professors and associate professors, 45 CNRS researchers, 100 engineers and administrative agents, about 150 PhD students as well as 30 post doc and invited professors. The lab is very open to international collaborations; more than 100 foreigner scientists coming from 20 different countries are currently working at IEMN. The IEMN scientific activity covers a large domain going from the physics of materials and nanostructures to microwaves, telecommunications and acoustics instrumentation.

The City of Lille:

The city of Lille offers an attractive living environment while being a student city of more than a million inhabitants. Furthermore, it sits at the crossroad of three capital cities of Europe (Paris, London and Brussels being reachable within an hour train ride).

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