BioNano Laboratory

University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario
What the facility does

Sensor development and investigation of pathogenic bacterial biofilms and viruses for food safety and biomedical applications

Area(s) of Expertise

Bionanolab at the University of Guelph’s School of Engineering is focused on studying the nanoscale aspects of biological systems through instrumentation and nanoscale imaging tools. Our group fosters interdisciplinary approaches to research in studies covering the diverse topics of food, agricultural, and biomedical systems.

Research Services

Photolithography, nanoscale imaging, nano-device fabrication, sensor development, nano/micro biomedical devices, microfluidic chip, point-of-care diagnostics, cytogenetics, skin-on-a-chip wound models, in vitro diagnostics, bionanotechnology, bio-nano interface investigation, nanotoxicology characterization

Sectors of Application
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
  • Professional and technical services (including legal services, architecture, engineering)

Name of specialized lab

Name of equipment

Description of function

BioNano Laboratory

Atomic force microscope

Nanoscale surface characterization and functional imaging


Kelvin probe force microscope

Nano-metre scale imaging of surface potential of biological and a broad range of materials including bacteria and viruses


Conducting scanning probe microscope

Nanoscale tunnel barrier characterization - qualitative evaluation of semiconductor, conducting polymers, nanotubes and biological materials


Raman dual wavelength spectrophotometer

Measurement of vibrational frequencies between atoms and molecules in a broad range of samples


Scanning electron microscope

High resolution surface characterization of a variety of materials including biological samples


Fluorescent optical microscope

Advanced imaging of investigation of biological processes for cellular and molecular biology, nanomedicine, and biophysics applications


Cantilever array sensor systems

Nanomechanical cantilever sensors and sensor development of detection of analytes for food safety, biomedical and environmental applications


Photolithography systems

Micro and nanofabrication of complex and simple microfludici devices, and point-of-care diagnostic systems using micro patterning techniques


Optical tweezers

Laser beam-based instrument for manipulating matter and microscopic particles


UV/Visible/NIR spectrophotometers

Measurement of reflection or absorption characteristics of sample


Multimodal microplate readers

Quantification of absorbance, fluorescence and luminescence of solutions in microplates for cell culture and biofilm assay and biosensor development


PCR machines

Molecular biology technique for amplifying DNA through enzymatic replication


Convection oven

Used for drying, baking, sterilizing. evaporating, heat treating, annealing and testing


Plasma cleaner

Used to remove organic contamination from surfaces, modify or enhance the physical and chemical characteristics of surfaces


High speed micro-centrifuge

Sedimentation of cells and nanoparticles



Autoclaves are used to sterilize equipment and media preparation for cultures 


Precision circulating water baths

Used for temperature uniformity


Millipore Milli-Q ®

Produces pressurized ultrapure water in a single unit



Provides a safe, reliable high pressure steam sterilizing environment


Microplate spectrophotometer

Used for kinetic applications


BioProfile 100 Analyzer

Simultaneous analysis of nutrients


High performance liquid chromatography

Used for separation technique


Cytation 5 plate reader

 Live cell imaging and multi-mode assays



Electrochemical techniques for bioassay


UV exposure system for photolithography

Suitable for MEMS, microfluidics applications


Brewer Science Cee200X Spin Coater 

 Used to make uniform thin films


 Vacuum pump

To remove gas, drying and chip preparation


EFD Ultra 2800-CC Dispenser

For precise metering of assembly fluids


Hot plate

To bake substrate


Biosafety Cabinet 1300 Series A2

For safely working with materials contaminated with pathogens


Microwave oven

For nanomaterials synthesis


  • Canada Foundation for Innovation
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Dairy Farmers of Ontario
  • Turkey Farmers of Ontario
  • Maple Leaf Foods Inc.
  • Grain Farmers of Ontario
  • Kane Biotech Inc.
  • Activation Laboratories Ltd.
  • Mathematics of Information Technology And Complex Systems Inc.
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Canadian Light Source
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh
  • Tamil Nadu Agricultural University
  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras
  • National Taipei University of Technology
  • Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University
  • Ontario Ministry of Agriculture/ Food and Rural Affairs
  • Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change



Food allergy testing device developed in Guelph could save lives – The Kitchener Waterloo Record

Canadian research finds that soy can limit growth of Listeria – Food Safety News

Onion: a Cancer Fighter? – Jamaica Observer

GryphSens: Testing for severe cattle diseases – Modern Agriculture Magazine

Bird flu can be detected in minutes with new device – CBC News

University of Guelph researchers create allergen-detecting device

Mise au point d’un nanobiocapteur. La Terre de Chez Nous - Quebec based


Equipping Farmers to Test for Severe Cattle Diseases – Resource Magazine of ASABe

Soybean derivative can tell good bacteria from the bad, researchers find  - CBC TV

Slowing Bacteria’s Happy Dance Improves Food Safety

Precision Livestock Farming – Canadian Poultry Magazine

Interviews and Popular Press