Juewen Liu’s research uses DNA and lipids as functional polymers and catalysts at the nano-scale.
Liu has found DNA molecules can be altered to serve as highly selective biosensors and reaction catalysts. Applications include detecting heavy metals instantly in water samples and targeted drug delivery. He is also interested in interfacing lipids with nanoparticles to create hybrid nanomaterials.
- Nanotechnology - the development and study of materials and devices on the nanoscale (1/millionth of one millimetre)
- Targeted drug delivery hybrid nanomaterials (nanomedicine)
- Fundamental science behind DNA and lipids as functional polymers with the ability to self-assemble and interact with metals
- Bioinorganic and bioanalytical chemistry
Professor Liu's research group applies the fundamental principles of chemistry, physics, and biology to produce nanoscale materials, devices, and systems to understand basic sciences, advance technology, and impact medicine.
In particular, they are interested in using DNA and lipids as functional polymers and building blocks to interface with metal nanoparticles, nanoclusters, carbon-based materials and hydrogels. Liu and his group employ a wide range of synthetic, analytical, physical and biochemical techniques.
They are currently interested in the following research topics:
- Bio-inspired assembly, biointerface chemistry and nanotechnology
- Targeted drug delivery and nanomedicine
- Bioinorganic / Bioanalytical chemistry
Professor Liu has taught the following undergraduate courses through the Nanotechnology Engineering program, offered jointly by the Department of Chemistry:
- NE 352: Surfaces and Interfaces (Fall 2009-2015)
- NE 469: Biosensors (Winter 2010-2015)
Professor Liu's most cited publications include
- Feng Wang and Juewen Liu*, "A Stable Lipid/TiO2 Interface with Headgroup Inversed Phosphocholine and a Comparison with SiO2", Journal of the American Chemical Society, in press (2015), DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b06642
- Biwu Liu, Ziyi Sun, Po-Jung Jimmy Huang and Juewen Liu*, "Hydrogen Peroxide Displacing DNA from Nanoceria: Mechanism and Detection of Glucose in Serum", Journal of the American Chemical Society, 137, 1290–1295 (2015)
- Feng Wang, Biwu Liu, Alexander C-F. Ip, and Juewen Liu*, "Orthogonal Adsorption onto Nano-Graphene Oxide Using Different Intermolecular Forces for Multiplexed Delivery", Advanced Materials, 25, 4087–4092, (2013).
- Xu Zhang, Mark R. Servos, and Juewen Liu*, "Instantaneous and Quantitative Functionalization of Gold Nanoparticles with Thiolated DNA Using a pH-Assisted and Surfactant-Free Route", Journal of the American Chemical Society, 134, 7266-7269, 2012.
- Neeshma Dave, Michelle Y. Chan, Po-Jung Jimmy Huang, Brendan D. Smith and Juewen Liu*, "Regenerable DNA-Functionalized Hydrogels for Ultrasensitive Instrument-Free Mercury(II) Detection and Removal in Water", Journal of the American Chemical Society, 132, 12668-12673, 2010.
- Yi Lu and Juewen Liu, “Nucleic acid based fluorescent sensor for copper detection”, US patent No. 8,409,800, issued on April 2, 2013.
- Yi Lu and Juewen Liu, “Nucleic acid based fluorescent sensor for mercury detection”, US patent No. 8,367,416, issued on February 5, 2013.
- Yi Lu and Juewen Liu, “Aptamer- and nucleic acid enzyme-based systems for simultaneous detection of multiple analytes”, US patent No. 8,058,415, issued on November 15, 2011.
- Yi Lu and Juewen Liu, “Fluorescence based biosensor”, US patent No. 8,043,802, issued on October 15, 2011.
- Yi Lu and Juewen Liu, “Fluorescence based biosensor”, US patent No. 7,906,320, issued on March 15, 2011.
- Yi Lu and Juewen Liu, “Aptamer-based colorimetric sensor systems”, US patent No. 7,892,734, issued on February 22, 2011.
- Debapriya Mazumdar, Juewen Liu, Yi Lu, “Lateral flow devices”, US patent No. 7,799,554, issued on September 21, 2010.
- Yi Lu and Juewen Liu, “Nucleic acid biosensors”, US patent No. 7,612,185, issued on November 3, 2009.
- Yi Lu and Juewen Liu, “Simple catalytic DNA biosensors for ions based on color changes”, US patent No. 7,534,560, issued on May 19, 2009.
- Yi Lu and Juewen Liu, “Biosensors based on directed assembly of particles”, US Patent No. 7,485,419, issued on February 03, 2009.
- Yi Lu and Juewen Liu “New fluorescence based biosensor”, US Patent No. 6,890,719, issued on May 10, 2005.
- Juewen Liu, University of Waterloo Page 10 11/19/2013
- Juewen Liu, C. Jeffrey Brinker, and Carlee Ashley, “Porous nanoparticle supported lipid bilayer nanostructures”, US provisional patent application filed on January 5, 2009.
- Yi Lu, Juewen Liu and Daryl P. Wernette, “Nanomaterial Error Correction” US provisional patent application filed on 6/9/2005, Serial No. 60/688,961.
- Yi Lu and Juewen Liu, “Nucleic Acid Enzyme Light-Up Sensor Utilizing Invasive DNA” US regular patent application filed on 11/3/2004, Serial No. 10/980,856.
- Yi Lu and Juewen Liu, “Nucleic Acid Enzyme Ligation Sensor” US regular patent application filed on 1/21/2005, Serial No. 11/041,003.
Awards and Distinctions
- 2017 University Research Chair
- 2015 Surface Science of DNA Adsorption onto Citrate-Capped Gold Nanoparticles; Xu Zhang, Mark R. Servos, and Juewen Liu; DOI: 10.1021/la205036p. Voted by Langmuir as one of the most influential papers of the 2000's.
- 2015 Outstanding Performance Award
- 2014 Canadian Society for Chemistry Fred Beamish Award
- 2011 Ontario Early Researcher Award
- 2004 T. S. Piper Award (for the best thesis in inorganic chemistry), University of Illinois
- 2003 Ullyot Fellowship, University of Illinois
- 2002 Department of Chemistry Fellowship, University of Illinois
- 2002 Biosensors & Bioelectronics Award Runner-up
University of Waterloo Affiliations
Professional Associations and Service
- Canadian Society for Chemistry
The following news stories have featured Professor Liu's research:
January 15, 2014 Dr. Juewen Liu recognized for innovative research
February 28, 2013 Researcher Juewen Liu uses nano-materials to clean water
2005 PhD Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL, USA
2000 BSc Chemistry, University of Science and Technology of China