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Research Fellows Directory

Hywel Morgan

Professor Hywel Morgan

Research Fellow


University of Southampton

Research summary

My research is concerned with developing a new generation of diagnostic tools that exploit Thin Film Transistor (TFT) technology, as used in TV and mobile phone displays. TFT devices are very low cost and can be manufactured over very large areas (many cm in size). We use modified TFT displays to electrically control the movement of tiny droplets or packets of fluids, like moving chess pieces around a board; a technique called digital microfluidics. The technology can in principle allow us to simultaneously control thousands of tiny nano-Litre volume droplets each containing different cells or molecules. This programmable system can perform many simultaneous operations like droplet splitting, mixing and re-combining. We are also developing new electronic sensors to detect and analyse cells or molecules within the droplets. The overall aim is to create an all-electronic sample processing toolbox capable of performing many complex reactions simultaneously, including analysis of cells, DNA and proteins, replacing traditional large scale robotic systems. One diagnostic tool that we are currently developing is to detect the presence of antibiotic resistance genes in bacteria, extracted on-chip from samples of body fluids such as urine. This technology will ultimately lead to a new generation of smart diagnostic devices the size of a mobile phone that can be used in many different settings.

Grants awarded

Low cost Thin Film Transistor electronic systems for Healthcare and Diagnostics

Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards

Dates: Jan 2015 - Dec 2019

Value: £50,000

Low Cost Consumer Electronics for 21st Century Healthcare

Scheme: Industry Fellowship

Dates: Jan 2013 - Dec 2016

Value: £187,579.94