Biomedical diagnostic tests are of ever increasing importance to modern healthcare and medicine. Applications range from screening for disease to allow early intervention, through to the management of chronic disease and the monitoring of health and wellbeing.

Two of the most widely used ‘biomedical diagnostic' tests include pregnancy tests and biosensors for the monitoring of blood glucose levels for diabetics.

Our worldwide reputation in biosensors and diagnostics has been built over 30 years, and has led to the development of products such as the amperometric mediated glucose oxidase based sensor used by diabetics around the globe now representing a global market of in excess of US$13Bn. We continue to build on our success and develop the area further with current research focusing on sensors for healthcare, food safety and environmental monitoring and detection.

About our research

The University has a wide-range of multi-disciplinary and bespoke diagnostic and biosensor research laboratories, fully equipped to undertake fundamental research through to full product development.

Our facilities allow us to undertake electrochemistry, immunochemistry, organic synthesis, materials science and electronics oriented research.

We have a long history of translating our research findings through to full commercialisation either via the establishment of University spin out companies - or via partnership with industry.

Clients and partners include:

• ELISHA Systems Ltd,
• Technology Strategy Board,
• Technology Translators Ltd,
• Unilever,
• Uniscan Instruments,
• Wellcome Trust.

Our impact

We have a long-established reputation for working at the cutting-edge of medical diagnostics and the development of new biomedical tests and medical devices.

As well as pioneering the development of new techniques, we have for more than three decades worked in partnership with many of the world’s leading commercial players and have helped bring many new diagnostic tests to market - ranging from lateral flow tests through to electrochemical biosensors.

At any one time we have a number of tests undergoing clinical trials in conjunction with our clinical partners in the National Health Service (NHS).

Our primary focus is to develop clinical diagnostic tests and devices that will impact on patient wellbeing. In some cases this involves developing diagnostic tests to provide research data and findings to provide new insights for clinical management of disease states. Other examples include the development of diagnostic tests to allow for earlier diagnosis of a disease state than would not otherwise be possible; examples here include ultra-sensitive tests for cancers, cardiovascular disease, infection based diseases, neurological insults and a number of degenerative diseases.

Our work in in the food and environmental sensing has a significant impact on shaping the the UK, EU and worldwide foods safety and environmental policies.

Our involvement in the development and application of biosensor and related bioanalytical technologies for detection, quantification and characterisation of life in extreme environments has led to advancements in astrobiology and and the understanding of life in extreme environments.

In addition to our technical work directly relating to the development of biomedical tests and devices, we provide expert witness opinions and testimony for a wide-range of legal cases ranging from patent disputes through to medical equipment failure and negligence claims -thereby directly impacting upon and influencing both the the commercial biomedical diagnostic sector and clinical practice.

Our facilities

Our research is housed in state-of the-art purpose built laboratories providing a wide-range of capabilities to support our multi-disciplinary work spanning the fields of electro-analytical chemistry, immunochemistry, organic chemistry, biomedical materials, electronics and cytology.

Our laboratories boast a comprehensive suite of analytical instrumentation, spectroscopic techniques and chromatographic techniques, dedicated electrochemical laboratories, SPR, QCM, NMR, FTIR, GC and GCMS, selective ion-flow mass spectrometry (SIFT), AFM, scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM), a dedicated electronics development workshop, and cytology facilities.

Working with us

There are several ways to work with us ranging from use of postgraduate students to conduct blue sky research, or applied research to well defined consultancy projects. We are willing to collaborate with sponsors on both short feasibility projects to larger research programmes. The work can be focused on open publications outputs, or provision of results within standard non-disclosure agreement.

We have worked with a wide-range of industrial partners in the field of medical diagnostics ranging from multi-nationals through to SMEs. We offer basic and applied research and development in a range of services and technologies including:

• Consultancy
• Contract research in the area of biosensors, rapid diagnostics, assay development. This includes receptor selection, functional coatings and surface chemistry, as well as novel sample extraction and pre-treatment procedures
• Custom design sensors
• Research via sponsored MSc and PhD projects
• Professional development. and bespoke short courses.
• Expert witnessing.