Our group has pioneered the imaginative combination of biological science with electronics and materials science for the development of novel biosensors and diagnostics. These devices provide a powerful and inexpensive alternative to conventional analytical technologies by being able to discriminate the target analyte from a host of inert and potentially interfering species. They do this by combining the unique and highly selective features of biomolecular recognition with physico-chemical transducers in order to convert the concentration of the analyte in the sample into an optical or electrical signal. This requirement for chemical intelligence is particularly acute in human healthcare and veterinary medicine, the agri-food, pharmaceutical and petrochemical industries environmental monitoring, defence and security. Our group is particularly interested in applying the technology to both “point-of-care” diagnostic testing in the ward, outpatients, surgery, home, field or workplace and to real-time continuous monitoring of chronic disorders. We have introduced a number of developments in biosensor technology over the last three decades, including a variety of new transducer concepts and a plethora of underpinning technologies designed to immobilise, spatially arrange and orientate biological molecules on transducer surfaces.
Current work is devoted to assessing optical, acoustic and microengineered sensors for monitoring low molecular weight analytes, proteins, DNA and whole cells. Substantial effort is being directed at developing multi-analyte optical sensors, real-time in vivo glucose sensors for monitoring diabetics and a host of other underpinning technologies designed to organise and orientate proteins and other macromolecules on such devices.