Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards
Organisation: University of Leeds
Dates: Sep 2011-Aug 2016
Summary: My research is based around a number of programmes including the development and application of new types of semiconductor lasers, the development of next generation electronics, and the integration of biology into electronic devices. One promising research direction in this latter field is the development of an electronic device that can analyze chemicals in a patient’s blood that may indicate the presence of a disease or propensity for the patient to develop a disease in the future.
We have developed a number of generic approaches to enable molecules, including biological molecules such as proteins, to be attached into electronic devices, and then probed by underlying electronic circuitry. For example, we found that we can attach antibodies, which are proteins used by the body’s immune system to identify and neutralize bacteria and viruses, to miniaturized electronic devices without their biological function being adversely affected. We then developed electronic techniques to detect and quantify binding to these antibodies; when an antibody binds to an appropriate target, which could be a biomarker in a patent’s blood indicating presence of a disease, we detect an electrical signal. By making an array of electrodes, each with a different antibody, we have a prototype multiplexed diagnostic device, capable of measuring a large number of biomarkers quickly in parallel. In contrast, conventional diagnostic arrays rely on fluorescent chemicals to signal the binding event, which can affect the sensitivity and specificity, and typically take longer.
This internationally prize winning and patented work potentially provides fast, inexpensive, miniaturized, label-free electronic sensing of multiple protein biomarkers simultaneously at clinical levels of sensitivity and specificity. This has generated significant interest and investment from industry and healthcare end- users, and we have formed a spin-out company, Relitect Ltd., to develop the technology into a product.
Scheme: University Research Fellowship
Dates: Jan 1995-Sep 2003
Summary: This project summary is not available for publication.