Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Wei Liao

Wei Liao



Neural prostheses often suffer from undesired chronic inflammatory tissue response. This can lead to neuronal loss and formation of glial scar tissue, which would serve as a barrier to neural signal transduction. In situ monitoring of neuro-inflammatory cytokines (Interleukins, TNF-α, MCP-1, PDGF) may improve our understanding of device induced inflammatory responses. Furthermore, early detection of the onset and degree of inflammation and releasing drugs accordingly may lead to improved long term performance of such implanted devices. For this reason, biosensors based on aptamer capture probe used in conjunction with either electrochemical or fluorescent detection have been developed. Aptamers, certain kinds of DNA or RNA molecules which can bind variety of molecules, have the overwhelming advantages over antibodies of low cost and ease of use. We have made exciting progresses and will push them closer to in vivo chronic detection.


 Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, Peking University, Beijing, China 
2000 B.S. in Chemistry, Peking University, Beijing, China


Postdoctoral research associate, University of Pittsburgh, Jun., 2006 - present

  1. Design and fabricate electrochemistry-based biosensor for in vivo diagnose.

Postdoctoral research associate, Rice University, Oct., 2005 - May., 2006

  1. Force study of single biomolecules by atomic force microscopy.


  1. Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, full membership, since 2005
  2. Merit Student Award in Peking University, 2005
  3. Innovation Award for excellent research in Peking University, 2003


  1. Liao, W. , Novel biosensors based on phage display and ATR-FTIR , Oral presentation and abstract in Annual Symposium (Texas Chapter) of Society of Chinese Bioscientists in America, Apr 29, 2006.
  2. Liao, W. , Protein Microarray: Challenges and Opportunities , invited talk in The Micro Actuators, Sensors, and Systems Group at UIUC, Apr 4, 2006.
  3. Kiang, C. H., N. Harris , L. M. Li , Y. Song , Liao, W. , Protein Unfolding Energy Determined by Jarzynski's Equality . APS March Meeting, 2006.
  4. Liao, W. , Protein Microarray: Challenges and Opportunities , invited talk in GE global research center, Shanghai, Mar, 2005.
  5. Liao, W. , Zhao, X. S., Novel Protein Immobilization Based on Hairpin Design of DNA , oral presentation and abstract at the 24th Annual Conference of Chinese Chemical Society, Changsha, Hunan, 2004.
  6. Liao, W. , Zhao, X. S. Characterization of Protein Immobilization on Alkyl Modified Silicon (111) Surface , abstract presented at the 8th Conference on Chemical Dynamics in China, Lushan, Jiangxi, 2003.
  7. Liao, W. , Zhao, X. S., Protein Chip Based on Fluorescence Spectrum and High-affinity Protein Immobilization , abstract presented at the 13rd Conference on Spectronic Instruments and Analysis in China, Beijing


  1. Liao, W. , Cui, X.T., Reagentless Aptamer Based Impedance Biosensor for Monitoring Inflammatory Cytokine PDGF. Biosens. Bioelectron. 2007 In press .
  2. Liao, W. , et al., and X.S. Zhao, FTIR-ATR Detection of Proteins and Small Molecules through DNA Conjugation. Sensors and Actuators B-Chemical, 2006. 114/1: p. 445-450.
  3. Liao, W. , S. Guo, and X.S. Zhao, Novel probes for protein chip applications. Frontiers in Bioscience, 2006. 11 : p. 186-197. (Invited Review)
  4. Guo, S., W. Liao , et al., X.S Zhao, Protein biosensors based on scanning potential hairpin denaturation and fluorescence resonance energy transfer . Acta Physico-Chimica Sinica, 2006. 22 (8): p. 917-920.
  5. Mu, C., Y.X. Yu, W. Liao , et al., Controlling growth and field emission properties of silicon nanotube arrays by multistep template replication and chemical vapor deposition. Applied Physics Letters, 2005. 87 (11): p. -.
  6. Yu, X.L., et al., W. Liao , and X.S. Zhao, Real-time SPR phase detection for protein micro-array. Acta Physico-Chimica Sinica, 2005. 21 (8): p. 888-892.
  7. Yu, X.L., et al., W. Liao , and X.S. Zhao, A surface plasmon resonance imaging interferometry for protein micro-array detection. Sensors and Actuators B-Chemical, 2005. 108 (1-2): p. 765-771.
  8. Liao, W. , et al., and X.S. Zhao, Improving phage antibody chip by pVII display system. Acta Physico-Chimica Sinica, 2005. 21 (5): p. 508-511.
  9. Hong, L., W. Liao , F. Wei, X.S. Zhao, and S.G. Zhu, Phage antibody chip for discriminating proteomes from different cells. Acta Physico-Chimica Sinica, 2004. 20 (10): p. 1182-1185.
  10. Liao, W. , F. Wei, M.X. Qian, and X.S. Zhao, Characterization of protein immobilization on alkyl monolayer modified silicon(111) surface. Sensors and Actuators B-Chemical, 2004. 101 (3): p. 361-367.
  11. Liao, W. , F. Wei, W.X. Cao, and X.S. Zhao, Monitoring layer-by-layer assembling of films containing diazo-resines by attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Acta Physico-Chimica Sinica, 2004.20 (4): p. 405-408.
  12. Cao, T.B., et al., W. Liao , X.S. Zhao, and W.X. Cao, Micropatterns of protein and conducting polymer molecules fabricated by layer-by-layer self-assembly and photolithography techniques. Langmuir, 2003. 19 (20): p. 8127-8129.
  13. Wei, F., B. Sun, W. Liao , J.H. Ouyang, and X.S. Zhao, Achieving differentiation of single-base mutations through hairpin oligonucleotide and electric potential control. Biosensors & Bioelectronics, 2003. 18 (9): p. 1149-1155.
  14. Yu, X.L., et al., W. Liao , and X.S. Zhao, Micro-array detection system for gene expression products based on surface plasmon resonance imaging. Sensors and Actuators B-Chemical, 2003. 91 (1-3): p. 133-137.