About L.B.N.

Welcome to L.B.N.

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Welcome to the Laboratory of Biosensors & Nanomachines (LBN), Prof Alexis Vallée-Bélisle’s research group. The LBN was set up in November 2012 at l’Université de Montréal with the aim of creating the next generation of nanomachines for medical, environmental and industrial applications. The LBN task and interests consist in understanding the mechanism of living organism’s nanomachines and use this knowledge to drive biotechnological discoveries in the field of diagnostic, drug delivery, and green chemistry.

Research Fileds

Recreating Biochemistry

Recreating Biochemistry 

Over the last million years, Nature has found many powerful solutions to medical diagnostic, targeted drug delivery, and green chemistry. It did so by evolving molecular machines that perform these tasks efficiently, using minimal energy and generating environmentally benign waste products. The LBN’s main task is to recreate mimics of these complex molecular machines using “simple” biopolymer such as DNA. This allows us to uncover the design principles of natural nanomachines that perform, for example, molecular diagnostic and targeted drug delivery in living organisms.

Medical diagnostics

Medical diagnostics

“Medical diagnostics is a $42 billion industry with 85% of testing performed in centralized lab facilities. This industry is beginning to shift towards a more distributed model that allows doctors to test their patients at the point-of-care and have immediate access to their health information in a more clinically relevant time frame. Inspired by natural nanomachines that perform many sensing functions in living organisms, the LBN is now developing new powerful, inexpensive and easy-to-use medical diagnostic devices that will greatly impact Global Health. Examples include, fluorescent probes for cancer imaging and bio-electrochemical devices for the rapid and easy detection of disease markers directly in whole blood.”

Drug delivery

Drug delivery

The cost for discovering, developing and launching a new drug is being estimated to nearly $1.7 billion (www.phrma.org -2003). For many observers, however, the most promising route to achieve major advances in drug development is not through the design of new more efficient drugs but rather to come up with strategies to deliver them at specific tissue locations (for example, at a tumor site). The LBN’s main task is to develop new powerful and inexpensive nanomachines “inspired by Nature” that will deliver drug at defined tissue locations and thus greatly optimize the benefits of current therapies while minimizing their toxic effects.

Green chemistry

Green chemistry

Our laboratory is developing a new generation of smart catalysts “inspired by nature” that are self-regulated by temperature and that can be activated and inhibited via the addition of simple and inexpensive molecules such as DNA.

Summer 2017




Summer 2016




Fall 2015




Summer 2015



Summer 2013


Lab members



Prof. Alexis Vallée-Bélisle

Principal investigator

Assistant professor
Department of Chemistry / Université de Montréal


David Charbonneau

Dr. David Charbonneau

Postdoctoral fellow


Carl Prévost-Tremblay

Carl Prévost Tremblay

Ph.D. student

I graduated with a B.Sc. in Biochemistry at Université de Montréal and completed a Master’s degree. I am interested in the influence of mechanisms and thermodynamic properties on the kinetics of nanomachines and biosensors. Outside the lab, I love music, especially jazz and guitar.



Arnaud Desrosiers

Ph.D. student

In 2012, I started a degree in biochemistry and molecular medicine at Université de Montréal. My main project in the lab this summer is to develop and improve DNA switches for performing medical diagnostics such as detecting antibodies in a few minutes for example. I practice several sports like tennis, hockey, golf and swimming and I would like to study in another country after my degree.



Guichi Zhu

Ph.D. student


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Scott Harroun



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Dominic Lauzon

Ph.D. student


Xiaomeng Wang

Xiaomeng Wang

Ph.D. visiting student


Alison Bateman

Alison Bateman

Trainee summer 2017


Elizabeth Maurice-Elder

Elizabeth Maurice-Elder

Trainee summer 2017


Former members of the lab


LBN Sahar

Dr. Sahar Mahshid

Postdoctoral fellow (July 2013 to January 2017


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Marie-Elaine Bérubé

Trainee summer 2016


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Laurianne Pham

Trainee summer 2016



Dr. Étienne Boulais

Postdoctoral fellow (June 2015 to June 2016)


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Erica Del Grosso

Ph.D. visiting student from University of Rome “Tor Vergata” (March 2016 to June 2016)


LBN David

David Gareau

Master’s student (April 2013 to October 2015 – Heat-sensitive DNA nanotechnology)



Jean-Antoine Gauthier-Cyr

Trainee summer 2015



Simona Ranallo

Ph.D. visiting student from University of Rome “Tor Vergata” (June 2015 to September 2015)


LBN Andrea

Andrea Idili

Ph.D. visiting student from University of Rome “Tor Vergata” (Triplex DNA structures as electrochemical and optical DNA sensors)


LBN Stéphanie

Stéphanie Bissonnette

Ph.D. Student (May to September 2014)


LBN Alex

Alexandre Marcil

Research Assistant (January to December 2013)


LBN Mathieu

Dr. Mathieu Hébert

Postdoctoral Fellow (June to October 2013 – Electrochemical DNA biosensors)


LBN Maria

Maria Stoica

Master’s student (April to August 2013)


LBN Christophe

Christophe Lachance-Brais

Trainee (January to May 2013 – Nanothermometre project)


LBN Anthony

Anthony Lemelin-Ambuchon

Trainee (January to May 2013 – Nanothermometer project)


LBN Guillaume

Guillaume Bélanger

Trainee (January to May 2013 – Nanothermometer project)


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