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Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Students discussing a poster at Sensors Day

We celebrated the work of our EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sensor Technologies for a Healthy and Sustainable Future in two events last week, showcasing contributions from students and academic and industrial partners.

The annual Sensors Day conference focused on applications of sensor technologies in healthcare, green energy and the environment. Caroline Hargrove, CTO for Babylon Health, gave the keynote talk on applications of sensors and the data they provide in primary healthcare, sparking discussion of how greater access to data can empower patients to access faster diagnosis and advice.

Further talks covered topics such as machine learning, photovoltaics, early detection of cancer and how to involve the public with sensor technologies through citizen science projects. This year’s student cohort also presented their team challenge project, SoliCamb, an open-source soil-sensing platform to help rural communities in developing countries.

"It was a fantastic day celebrating sensor research in all its facets,” said Professor Clemens Kaminski, CDT Director and PI of the Laser Analytics group in our department. “The event brought together a diverse mix of people, ideas, and opinions and was genuinely stimulating. We heard from world leaders in the field and there was plenty of opportunity to mix and mingle. A highlight was the presentation by last year's cohort from their sensor team challenge on soil sensing – I am really proud of what our students achieve and excited about where the new CDT is taking us, exploring themes in sustainability and health in the context of global change."

A networking dinner, held in the spectacular Whale Hall at the Museum of Zoology, closed the day.

The following day’s student-run Sensor Showcase, gave CDT students the opportunity to present their work in short talks and flash poster presentations, and the afternoon’s panel discussion looked at the increasing importance of considering sustainability in innovation projects. 

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Dr Ioanna Mela, a Postdoctoral Research Associate working in the Laser Analytics Group with Prof Clemens Kaminski, has been awarded funding from the National Biofilm Innovation Centre, 3rd Proof of Concept Call, to investigate the potential of DNA nanostructures against oral biofilms.

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New paper on DNA nanostructures as a tool for targeted antimicrobial delivery

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Dr Ioanna Mela’s paper on DNA nanostructures that can specifically target bacteria has been published by Angewandte Chemie.