Group of Chemical Optosensors & Applied Photochemistry (GSOLFA)

Department of Organic Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry
Faculty of Chemical Science

The interdepartmental UCM Chemical Optosensors & Applied Photochemistry Group, led by full Prof. Guillermo Orellana (Organic Chem. Dpmt.; ORCID 0000-0002-4572-6564) and full Prof. Maria C. Moreno-Bondi (Analytical Chem. Dpmt.; ORCID 0000-0002-3612-0675), boasts more than 25 years’ experience in the development of luminescent photochemical (bio)sensors, tailored molecular probes and molecularly imprinted polymers for environmental, biomedical, aeronautical, industrial and food analysis applications, in close collaboration with national and foreign companies, plus photobiological and environmental applications of singlet molecular oxygen. The Group has received seamless funding in 40 projects from National (22), European (12), and Regional bodies (6), plus from 40 contracts with Spanish and foreign companies in the last 28 years, with an average of 300+ K€/year in the last 10 years. More than 160 publications, most of them in top-ranked international journals and books, and 18 patents (7 intl.) showcase the Group basic and applied research, and tech transfer achievements.
In addition to the Group Leaders, the team currently comprises 2 Assoc. Prof., 2 Assis. Prof., 3 post-doctoral researchers and 8 PhD students, plus a technician, an assistant and several (under)grad students performing lab work towards their BSc/MSc degree in Chemistry.
Since 2018 G.O. is co-Editor-in-Chief of Elsevier’s Sensors & Actuators B: Chem. while MC.M-B. is Editor of Springer’s Anal. Bioanal. Chem.

Our research facilities comprise multidisciplinary state-of-the-art laboratories for optical chemical sensors/biosensors, photochemistry and spectroscopy. They span 6 labs at the Chemistry Faculty:
(i) Organic, inorganic & polymer syntheses;
(ii) Laser spectroscopy and photochemistry (absorption/emission, laser kinetic spectrometry, single-photon timing luminescence kinetics, FLIM,…);
(iii) Optical (bio)sensors characterization and analytical testing (colorimetric, fluorescent, biosensor arrays, evanescent-wave, optical fibers, automated systems, portable fiber-optic phase-sensitive luminometers, etc.);
(iv) Analytical methods development, including sample preparation, HPLC (uv-vis absorption and fluorescence detectors with automated samplers, GPC);
(v) Bioanalytical methods development (PCR, immunoassays, microplate readers with absorption, fluorescence, polarization, FRET, BRET, alphascreen, fluorescence up-conversion,…) and
(vi) sensor optoelectronics manufacturing and testing.

As our multidisciplinary group performs research on several different areas, we would be happy to sponsor top-quality postdoctoral fellows and their corresponding research proposal and activities encompassing at least two of the following topics:
1. Photochemistry applied to chemical analysis: fiber-optic chemical (micro/nano)sensors and biosensors for environmental (water, air, soil), industrial, biomedical, aerospace, food safety and/or factory atmospheres monitoring (“factory of the future”).
2. Design, synthesis, spectroscopic and photochemical characterization of multifunctional monomers (polymerizable + recognition + opto-signaling moieties), analyte surrogates and tailored molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) for environmental, process or food analysis.
3. Molecularly “engineered” luminescent (photoactive) dyes, particularly phosphorescent coordination complexes with transition metal ions and tailored chelating ligands.
4. Elucidation of photochemical mechanisms of energy (FRET), electron (PET) and proton transfer reactions.
5. Application of phage display libraries to the selection of mimopeptides or antibody fragments for their application in biomimetic sensors for food or clinical analysis.
6. Singlet molecular oxygen (1O2) photosensitizers and their application to domestic solar water disinfection or photodynamic antiparasitic/antibacterial treatments.
7. Synthesis of recombinant proteins fused to luminescent or signal-boosting (1O2) fragments by genetic engineering for ultrasensitive biosensors.