Danny Brouard, Ph. D.

Research Scientist, Cellular Production
Ph.D. Chemistry, Université Laval, 2012

Tel.: 418 780-4362, ext. 3253
Fax: 418 780-2091
Danny.Brouard@hema-quebec.qc.ca

Research interests:

  • Biophotonics and plasmonics
  • Nanomaterials Biosensors
  • Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry
  • Stem cell production and characterization

Current projects:

  • Nanoparticular biosensors for DNA and protein detection
  • Plasmonic nanoparticles as contrast agents for cellular imaging and cell sorting applications
  • Monitoring and characterization of cell culture systems using plasmonic sensing

Nanoparticular biosensors for DNA and protein detection

Over the past two decades, nanotechnology has experienced phenomenal growth. This interest has emerged from the observation of drastic changes in the physical, chemical, optical and mechanical properties of materials whose size is scaled down to the nanoscale level. Some noble metals, such as gold and silver, can be advantageously exploited into the design of ultrasensitive biosensors with built-in signal amplification systems. These biosensors allow the detection of biological targets at very low concentrations, which can then be observed or quantitated using dedicated equipments and devices. One of the objectives of this project aims at developing versatile nanoparticular architectures for ultrasensitive and specific detection of DNA and proteins in complex samples.

Plasmonic nanoparticles as contrast agents for cellular imaging and cell sorting applications

Characterization of cellular systems and their responses to external perturbations often rely upon optical and electronic microscopy and flow cytometry assays. In either case, target cells or cellular components of interest must be labelled prior to analysis in order to facilitate observation or to allow detection. Héma-Québec, in collaboration with Université Laval, has developed a patented technology based on highly fluorescent metal-core silica-shell nanoparticles used as contrast agent for cell imaging and cell labeling applications. One of the objectives of this project is to take advantage of the plasmonic properties of metal nanoparticles in High Content Screening (HCS) applications, which allow to access to an array of information simultaneously on a single platform.

Monitoring and characterization of cell culture systems using plasmonic sensing

The development of cellular therapies generally require a step of in vitro expansion of the cells making up the therapeutic composition. Cell culture relies upon the self-renewal and proliferation capacities of stem cells in order to expand or differentiate the cell population in vitro. However, culture media are complex systems, and remain an important source of variability in the final product. One of the objectives of this project is to develop a platform for multiplex detection of molecular markers allowing to monitor a cell culture during its expansion.

Publications:

Patent:

  • Brouard D, Ratelle O, Boudreau D. (2014) Nanoparticular antibodies and uses thereof as contrast agents. International patent application #PCT/CA2014/050983, filed on October 10, 2014.