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Mitch Doktycz

Distinguished Staff Scientist



Mitchel Doktycz's research interests are in the general areas of analytical technology development and nucleic acid physical chemistry. Description of research: Mitchel Doktycz's research activities and interests focus on the development of analytical technologies for genome and biochemical analyses. The ongoing genome projects are providing a wealth of DNA sequence information that allows for a functional characterization of genes based on sequence analysis. Interdisciplinary approaches are advancing new technologies for rapidly collecting and assessing nucleic acid sequence information. These approaches take advantage of the speed and efficiency of either miniaturization or analytical techniques such as electrophoresis, mass spectrometry, or scanning probe microscopies. Genetic biosensors, called genosensor chips or DNA microarrays, are being developed to rapidly assess gene sequences by microscale, parallel hybridization procedures. Applications to gene expression and gene sequence analysis are under development. Automated systems are being created to manufacture and analyze these microarrays. Other biosensors, based on micromachined structures, are being created. These sensors use the same technology employed for constructing computer chips, with individual elements only tens of microns in length. Biological coatings are being applied to these sensor elements to take advantage of the high selectivity of biomolecules for particular sensing applications. In addition to analytical technology development, basic research in the general area of nucleic acid physical chemistry is pursued. This work focuses on evaluating the physical parameters that characterize nucleic acid sequences, secondary structures and structural transitions. Synthetic and naturally occurring sequences are the targets of these investigations. Optical melting and electrophoretic techniques are developed and used extensively to assess structural transitions. The tools of fluorescence spectroscopy and scanning probe microscopy are employed to determine longer range structural features. Additionally, enzymatic and chemical probing are used for identifying secondary structures or sites of protein or drug binding. Together, these methods allow for the physical and structural characterization of nucleic acids that will ultimately contribute to understanding the relationship between nucleotide sequence and function.


  • Ph.D.: Chemistry-University of Illinois at Chicago (1991)
  • B.S.: Biology and Chemistry-University of Illinois at Chicago (1985)


Kumar, A., Karig, D., Neethirajan, S., Suresh, A. K., Srijanto, B. R., Mukherjee, P. P., Retterer, S. T., Doktycz, M.J. (2012) “Adhesion and formation of biofilms in complex microfluidic devices”, Proc ASME-MNHMT2012, Paper # MNHMT2012-75207

Weston, D.J., Pelletier, D. A., Morrell-Falvey, J. L., Tschaplinski, T. J., Jawdy, S.S., Lu, T.-Y., Melton, S. J., Martin, M., Schadt, C. W., Karve, A. A., Chen, J.-G., Doktycz, M. J., Tuskan, G. A. (2012) “Pseudomonas fluorescens induces strain-dependent and strain-independent host plant responses in defense networks, primary metabolism and photosynthesis” Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, 25(6) 765–778.

Brown, S. D., Klingeman, D. M, Lu, T.-Y. S., Johnson, C., Utturkar, S., Land, M., Schadt, C. W., Doktycz, M. J., and Pelletier, D. A. (2012) “Draft Genome Sequence of Rhizobium sp. PDO1-076, a bacterium isolated from Populus deltoides, Journal of Bacteriology, 194(9), 2383. Suresh, A. K., Pelletier, D. A., Wang, W., Morrell-Falvey, J. L., Gu, B., and Doktycz, M. J. (2012) “Cytotoxicity Induced by Engineered Silver Nanocrystallites is Dependent on Surface Coatings and Cell Types” Langmuir, 28(5) 2727-2735.

Choi, C.K., Fowlkes, J.D., Retterer, S.T., Siuti, P., Iyer, S., Doktycz, M.J. (2010) "Surface Charge- and Space-Dependent Transport of Proteins in Crowded Environments of Nanotailored Posts", ACS Nano, 4(6), 3345-3355.

Suresh, A. K., Pelletier, D. A., Wang, W. Moon, J.-W., Gu, B., Mortensen, N. P., Allison, D. P., Joy, D. C., Phelps, T. J., Doktycz M. J. (2010) "Silver nanocrystallites: Biofabrication using Shewanella oneidensis, and an evaluation of their comparative toxicity on Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria" Environmental Science and Technology, 44, 5210-5215.

Retterer, S.T., Siuti, P., Choi, C.-K., Doktycz, M.J. (2010) "Development and Fabrication of Nanoporous Silicon Bioreactors within a Microfluidic Chip" Lab on a Chip, 10(9) 1174 - 1181.

Pollas Mortensen, N. Fowlkes, J. D., Sullivan, C. J. Allison, D. P., Larsen, N. B. Molin, S. Doktycz, M. J. (2009) "The effects of the antimicrobial peptide colistin on surface ultrastructure and nanomechanics of Pseudomonas aeruginosa cells" Langmuir, 25(6) 3728-3733.

Fowlkes, J. D., Fletcher, B. L. Retterer, S. T., Melechko, A. V., Simpson, M. L., Doktycz, M. J., (2008) Size-selectivity and anomalous subdiffusion of nanoparticles through carbon nanofiber-based membranes, Nanotechnology, 19(41) Article Number: 415301.

Fletcher, B. L., Retterer, S. T., McKnight, T. E.,Melechko, A. V., Fowlkes, J. D., Simpson, M. L., Doktycz, M.J. (2008) "Actuatable membranes based on polypyrrole-coated vertically aligned carbon nanofibers" ACS NANO, 2(2) 247-254.

Sullivan, C. J., S. Venkataraman, S., Retterer, S. T., Allison, D. P., Doktycz, M. J., (2007) "Comparison of the Indentation and Elasticity of E. coli and its Spheroplasts by AFM", Ultramicroscopy, 107, 934-942.

Doktycz, M. J. and M. L. Simpson (2007) "Nano-enabled synthetic biology" Molecular System Biology, 3:125.

Hildebrand, M., York, E., Kelz, J., Davis, A. K., Frigeri, L. G., Allison, D. P., Doktycz, M. J., (2006) "Nano-scale Control of Silica Morphology and Three-dimensional Structure during Diatom Cell Wall Formation", J. Mater. Res., Vol. 21, No. 10, 2689-2698.

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