About the author

Professor Reinhard RENNEBERG

(PhD, Central Institute of Molecular Biology,Berlin, 1979)E-mail: “chrenneb@ust.hk

Tel: (852) 2358-7387; Fax: (852) 2358-1594

Biosensor Group

Research Interests

Bioanalytical chemistry: basics and applications; nano-biotechnology;
biosensorics and bioelectronics; microsystems and microsensors; novel
signal-amplifying systems using LBL-encapsulated mediators; enzymes and dyes for
amperometric sensors; ELISAs and other biotests; environmental chemistry;
commercialization of biosensors and biotests (heart attack, stroke, viral and
bacterial infections). 

The Biosensor &
Bioelectronics Lab is developing novel rapid tests for biomedical and
environmental applications. It has formed the SiGNAL network (Sino-German Nano-Analytical
Lab) for collaboration within the frame of the German Center, HKUST Europe

(i) An immunotest detects fatty acid-binding protein (FABP), which is a 15 kDa
protein within 15 minutes. FABP is an early infarction marker and allows
diagnosis or exclusion of acute myocardial infarction within half an hour after
the onset of symptom. Conventional markers need 3-6 hours. In addition to life
saving, the immunotest can be also used for detection of overtraining in
athletes and horses. (ii) An InfectCheck barcode-style lateral flow assay for
semi-quantitative detection of C-reactive protein (CRP) in distinguishing
between bacterial and viral infections. The severity of bacterial infection can
be assessed by simply counting the number of red lines. It is a one-step whole
blood rapid test without any sample pre-treatment and the result is available
within 15 min. This user friendly diagnostic tool can allow self-testing by
interested individuals without any expensive reading device.

(i) Living yeast cells (Arxula adeninivorans) are immobilized at the top
of Clark oxygen sensors and mass-produced thick-film sensors. Any change in cell
respiration can be monitored in 70 seconds.  The cells are stable and can be
reused for several months. As they are salt-tolerant, one can directly measure
the biodegradable pollution in sea water samples within minutes instead of the
5-day- method (BOD5). (ii) Thick-film sensors and thin-film sensors produced by
microsystem technology are used as transducers for immobilized lactate oxidase.
By checking the lactate levels before and after training for humans and horses,
one can evaluate fitness levels easily within seconds. It was demonstrated for
subcutaneous in-vivo measurements during training. (iii) Cyanide fishing
destroys nowadays many coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean. One million kilograms
of cyanides have been used in the last 10 years in Pacific coral reefs to catch
fishes mainly for consumption in Hong Kong. Using the oxygen binding abilities
of porphyrines, a sensor is constructed for highly sensitive detection of
cyanide in fish blood. We hope to help to stop cyanide fishing by developing a
rapid test.

3. Signal
amplification technologies:
A SuperNova technology is based on a two-step
approach for the preparation of the nanocrystal biolabels: (1) the fluorogenic
precursor fluorescein diacetate (FDA) nanocrystals are firstly encapsulated by
distearoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DSPE) lipids coupled to amino[poly-(ethylene
glycol)] (PEG-Amine) and (2) subsequently coupled with biomolecules. High signal
amplification can be achieved by conversion of the precursor FDA into mega
releasable fluorescein molecules using a releasing reagent. The intensity of the
fluorescence signal is proportional to the target analyte concentration. It has
the potential to highly amplify the signal and can be a good alternative label
for DNA hybridizations and immunoassays.

Representative Publications

Books :

“Biotechnology for Beginners”, Academic Press, New York (2008).

“Biosensing for the 21st Century” in: “Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology Vol 109” (R Renneberg and F Lisdat, eds.) Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg (2008).

“Bioanalytics for Beginners” Springer, Heidelberg (2009).

“Katzenklon, Katzenklon” Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg (2007).

複製一個我“ (R Renneberg and J Reich) Rive Gauche Publishing House, Taiwan (2007).

Journal Papers :

“Human Heart-Type Fatty Acid-Binding Protein for On-Site Diagnosis of Early Acute
Myocardial Infarction” International Journal of Cardiology 133 (3),
420-3, (2009).

“Diagnostic utility of CRP to neopterin ratio in patients with acute respiratory tract
infections” Journal of Infection 58 (2), 123-30 (2009).

“Development of a creatinine enzyme-based bar-code-style lateral-flow assay” Analytical &
Bioanalytical Chemistry 393 (4),1281-7 (2009).

“The missing link–light-induced (280-1,600 nm) free radical formation in human skin” Skin
Pharmacology & Physiology 22 (1), 31-44 (2009).

“Development of enzyme-based bar code-style lateral-flow assay for hydrogen peroxide
determination” Analytica Chimica Acta 634 (1), 89-95 (2009).

“Biotech history: Mexico, the father of the pill and the race for cortisone”
Biotechnology Journal 3 (4), 449-451 (2008).

“InfectCheck CRP barcode-style lateral flow assay for semi-quantitative detection of
C-reactive protein in distinguishing between bacterial and viral infections”
Journal of Immunological Methods 336, 30-36


“Frieder Scheller and the short history of biosensors”
Advances in Biochemical
109, 1-18 (2008).

“New trends in immunoassays”
Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology

, 123-154 (2008).

Biotech history: Yew trees, paclitaxel synthesis and fungi“ Biotechnology Journal 2
1207-1209 (2007).

“Value of serum procalcitonin, neopterin, and C-reactive protein in differentiating bacterial from viral etiologies in patients presenting with lower respiratory tract infections”
Diagnostic Microbiology & Infectious Disease

59 (2), 131-136 (2007).

“Biofunctional organic nanocrystals for quantitative detection of pathogen deoxyribonucleic
Analytica Chimica Acta
584 (1), 7-11 (2007).

“A novel credit-card style assay for bedside determination of fatty acid-binding protein”
IVD Technology Magazine 12 (2), 51 (2006).

of serum neopterin for early assessment of dengue virus infection” Journal of
Infection 53 (3), 152-158 (2006).

FABP Rapid Test for Early Diagnosis of Acute Myocardial Infarction


InfectCheck CRP barcode-style Rapid Test for Rapid Differentiation of
Bacterial and Viral Infections






Novel Signal Amplification Technology

SuperNova System