Contact Dr Zhugen Yang
Areas of expertise
- Biomedical Engineering
- Biosensors & Diagnostics
- Environment and Health
- Food Safety
- Instrumentation, Sensors and Measurement Science
- Monitoring and Environmental Informatics
- Water Science and Engineering
Dr Zhugen Yang was awarded a prestigious UK NERC Fellowship in 2018, where he led a group in developing advanced sensors for water-environment-health-nexus. Before joining Cranfield University in 2019, Zhugen was a lecturer at the James Watt School of Engineering at the University of Glasgow.
Zhugen completed his postdoc at the University of Cambridge and was an EU Marie Curie Fellow at the Universities of Bath and Glasgow. He completed his PhD at the University of Lyon (Ecole Centrale, France), MSc (SYSU) and BEng (HIT) in China.
His research has been sponsored by a variety of sources (~£2.5m) including EPSRC, NERC, BBSRC, the Royal Academy of Engineering and industry, leading to over 50 referred articles (including PNAS, ES&T, Water Res, ACS Nano, Anal Chem, B&B, TrAC), several patents and a number of invited/keynote talks at international conferences.
Zhugen has served as editor of a special issue for TrAC -Trends in Analytical Chemistry (IF 12.3), and editor of a book on Comprehensive Analytical Chemistry (Elsevier). Selected editorial responsibility includes Associate Editor on Biosensors and Biomolecular, Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology (IF 5.6); Editorial Advisory Board for Advance in Sample Preparation (Elsevier), ECR Editorial Advisory Board for Environment Science & Ecotechnology (Elsevier), Editor of Special Issue for Water (IF 3.8), MDPI.
Research students (PhD/MRes) We are consistently recruiting talented PhD candidates in the areas of sensors, microfluidics, paper-based devices, molecular diagnosis, water quality, environmental health, wastewater-based epidemiology and illicit drugs.
Masters and placements. If you are interested in a short-term project (minimum of three months), please get in touch.
Postdoc and visiting fellows We have no openings for any postdoc studies at the moment but we are always keen to support talented scientists in applying via a third funding source (e.g. Leverhulme Trust, Royal Commission 1851, UK Newton fellowship, EU Marie Curie) to explore exciting scientific research.
Dr Yang is currently heading the Sensors Laboratory at Cranfield Water Science Institute (CWSI). His multidisciplinary team 'Advanced Sensors for Water-Environment-Health nexus', focuses on the development of low-cost, rapid and point-of-use sensors and devices for environmental science (e.g. microbial contamination in drinking water), public health (e.g. infectious, illicit drugs), and biomedical diagnostics (e.g. infectious disease and cancer).
Zhugen is recognised globally for his work in developing a low-cost paper origami device for the rapid diagnosis of infectious diseases. Zhugen’s work has received international media coverage from BBC News, Science Action, Washington Post, Yahoo and China Daily when he developed the device for rapid testing of sewage for early warning of Covid-19 within the population. His work has been recognised by many awards including a recent James J Morgan ACS ES&T Early Career Award- Honorable Mention.
- UK NERC NPIF Innovation Fellowship, (PI, 2018 – 2021, NE/R013349/1, £506,452); with Scottish Water
- UK Royal Academy of Engineering, (PI, 2020 – 2023, FF\1920\1\36, £310,286); with Nigeria & Cameron;
- UK NERC, National COVID-19 Wastewater Epidemiology Surveillance Programme (N-WESP, Co-I, 2020 – 2021, NE/V010441/1, £791,191).
- Anglian Water (Rapid Covid sensors, PI, 2020-2021)
- Industry partner (Automatic detection of virus in sewage, PI, 2020-2021)
- UK EPSRC DTP PhD studentship, (Co-I, 2020-2023, £122,008), with Thames Water
- UK BBSRC, (Co-I, 2018 – 2020, BB/S004335/1, £200,000); with Cefas, Cromarty Mussels Ltd.
- UK Royal Academy of Engineering, (PI, 2018 – 2020, FoDSF\1819\1\8, £20,000); with Federal University Lafia
- Oct 2020 - Mar 2021, University Grand Challenge (UGC): Smart Living project "Wastewater-based epidemiology for public health", Engaging regional policies in MK and Oxbridge Arc on public health, £7,000 (led Prof W Guo)
- UK Royal Academy of Engineering, (Co-I, 2018 - 2019, FoEST1819\T6\4, £24,000); with Tran Hung Dao University Hospital, Vietnam;
- UK Scottish Research Partnership in Engineering (PI, 2018 – 2019, PECRE1819/05, £3,500); with SUSTech, China
NERC, EPSRC, BBSRC, Royal Academy of Engineering, Home Office, Scottish Partnership of Research Funds, Scottish Water, Anglian Water and other industry
Articles In Journals
- Li W, Coulon F, Singer A, Zhu YG & Yang Z (2021) Paper-based devices as a new tool for rapid and on-site monitoring of "superbugs", Environmental Science and Technology, 55 (18) 12133-12135.
- Zhang K, Zhang H, Cao H, Jiang Y, Mao K & Yang Z (2021) Rolling circle amplification as an efficient analytical tool for rapid detection of contaminants in aqueous environments, Biosensors, 11 (10) Article No. 352.
- Ou Y, Cao S, Zhang J, Dong W, Yang Z & Yu Z (2021) Droplet microfluidics on analysis of pathogenic microbes for wastewater-based epidemiology, Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 143 (October) Article No. 116333.
- Zhou C, Pan Y, Ge S, Coulon F & Yang Z (2021) Rapid methods for antimicrobial resistance diagnosis in contaminated soils for effective remediation strategy, Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 137 (April) Article No. 116203.
- Ali W, Zhang H, Wang Z, Chang C, Javed A, Ali K, Du W, Niazi NK, Mao K & Yang Z (2021) Occurrence of various viruses and recent evidence of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater systems, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Available online 19 February 2021, Article No. 125439.
- Anae J, Ahmad N, Kumar V, Thakur VK, Gutierrez T, Yang XJ, Cai C, Yang Z & Coulon F (2021) Recent advances in biochar engineering for soil contaminated with complex chemical mixtures: remediation strategies and future perspectives, Science of the Total Environment, 767 (May) Article No. 144351.
- Mao K, Zhang H, Pan Y & Yang Z (2021) Biosensors for wastewater-based epidemiology for monitoring public health, Water Research, 191 (March) Article No. 116787.
- Pena-Pereira F, Bendicho C, Pavlović DM, Martín-Esteban A, Díaz-Álvarez M, Pan Y, Cooper J, Yang Z, Safarik I, Pospiskova K, Segundo MA & Psillakis E (2021) Miniaturized analytical methods for determination of environmental contaminants of emerging concern - a review, Analytica Chimica Acta, Available online 2 December 2020.
- Mao K, Yang Z, Zhang H, Li X & Cooper JM (2021) Paper-based nanosensors to evaluate community-wide illicit drug use for wastewater-based epidemiology, Water Research, 189 (February) Article No. 116559.
- Mao K, Zhang H, Wang Z, Cao H, Zhang K, Li X & Yang Z (2020) Nanomaterial-based aptamer sensors for arsenic detection, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 148 (January) Article No. 111785.
- Mao K, Min X, Zhang H, Zhang K, Cao H, Guo Y & Yang Z (2020) Paper-based microfluidics for rapid diagnostics and drug delivery, Journal of Controlled Release, 322 (June) 187-199.
- Ming T, Luo J, Liu J, Sun S, Xing Y, Wang H, Xiao G, Deng Y, Cheng Y, Yang Z, Jin H & Cai X (2020) Paper-based microfluidic aptasensors, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 170 (December) Article No. 112649.
- Mao K, Zhang H & Yang Z (2020) The potential of an integrated biosensor system with mobile health and wastewater-based epidemiology (iBMW) for the prevention, surveillance, monitoring and intervention of the COVID-19 pandemic, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, Volume 169 (December) Article No. 112617.
- Teng D, Zhang B, Xu G, Wang B, Mao K, Wang J, Sun J, Feng X, Yang Z & Zhang H (2020) Efficient removal of Cd(II) from aqueous solution by pinecone biochar: Sorption performance and governing mechanisms, Environmental Pollution, 265, Part A, (October) Article No. 115001.
- Li P, Wang Z, Song R, Qian W, Wen P, Yang Z & He D (2020) Customizable fabrication for auxetic graphene assembled macrofilms with high conductivity and flexibility, Carbon, 162 (June) 545-551.
- Ali W, Mao K, Zhang H, Junaid M, Xu N, Rasool A, Feng X & Yang Z (2020) Comprehensive review of the basic chemical behaviours, sources, processes, and endpoints of trace element contamination in paddy soil-rice systems in rice-growing countries, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 397 (October) Article No. 122720.
- Mao K, Zhang H, Yang Z, (2020) Can a paper-based device trace COVID-19 sources with wastewater-based epidemiology?, Environmental Science and Technology, 54 (7) 3733-3735.
- Chang C, Chen C, Yin R, Shen Y, Mao K, Yang Z, Feng X & Zhang H (2020) Bioaccumulation of Hg in rice leaf facilitates selenium bioaccumulation in rice (Oryza sativa L.) leaf in the Wanshan mercury mine, Environmental Science and Technology, 54 (6) 3228-3236.
- Mao K, Zhang H, Pan Y, Zhang K, Cao H, Li X & Yang Z (2020) Nanomaterial-based aptamer sensors for analysis of illicit drugs and evaluation of drugs consumption for wastewater-based epidemiology, Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 130 (September) Article No. 115975.
- Bai Q, Zhang C, Li L, Zhu Z, Wang L, Jiang F, Liu M, Wang Z, Yu WW, Du F, Yang Z & Sui N (2020) Subsequent monitoring of ferric ion and ascorbic acid using graphdiyne quantum dots-based optical sensors, Microchimica Acta, 187 (December) Article No. 657.
- Hui Q, Pan Y & Yang Z (2020) Paper-based devices for rapid diagnostics and testing sewage for early warning of COVID-19 outbreak, Case Studies in Chemical and Environmental Engineering, 2 (September) Article No. 100064.
- Wang Y, Sun S, Luo J, Xiong Y, Ming T, Liu J, Ma Y, Yan S, Yang Y, Yang Z, Reboud J, Yin H, Cooper JM & Cai X (2020) Low sample volume origami-paper-based graphene-modified aptasensors for label-free electrochemical detection of cancer biomarker-EGFR, Microsystems and Nanoengineering, 6 (1) Article No. 32.
- Bhalla N, Pan Y, Yang Z & Payam A (2020) Opportunities and challenges for biosensors and nanoscale analytical tools for pandemics: COVID-19, ACS Nano, 14 (7) 7783-7807.
- Ali W, Zhang H, Junaid M, Mao K, Xu N, Chang C, Rasool A, Wajahat Aslam M, Ali J & Yang Z (2020) Insights into the mechanisms of arsenic-selenium interactions and the associated toxicity in plants, animals, and humans: A critical review, Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, Available online 18 March 2020 (7).
- Castrignano E, Yang Z, Feil E, Bade R, Castiglioni S, Casuanilles A, Gracia-Lor E, Hernandez F, Plosz B, Ramin P, Rousis N, Ryu Y, Thomas K, de Voogt P, Zuccato E & Kasprzyk-Hordern B (2020) Enantiomeric profiling of quinolones and quinolone resistance gene qnrS in European wastewaters, Water Research, Available online 10 March 2020, Article No. 115653.
- Reboud J, Xu G, Garrett A, Adriko M, Yang Z, Tukahebwa EM, Rowell C & Cooper JM (2019) Paper-based microfluidics for DNA diagnostics of malaria in low resource underserved rural communities, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116 (11) 4834-4842.
- Mao K, Ma J, Li X & Yang Z (2019) Rapid duplexed detection of illicit drugs in wastewater using gold nanoparticle conjugated aptamer sensors, Science of the Total Environment, 688 (October) 771-779.
- Yang Z, Xu G, Reboud J, Ali SA, Kaur G, McGiven J, Boby N, Gupta P, Chaudhuri P & Cooper JM (2018) Rapid veterinary diagnosis of bovine reproductive infectious diseases from semen using paper-origami DNA microfluidics, ACS Sensors, 3 (2) 403-409.
- Castrignano E, Yang Z, Bade R, Baz-Lomba JA, Castiglioni S, Causanilles A, Covaci A, Gracia-Lor E, Hernandez F, Kinyua J, McCall AK, van Nuijs ALN, Ort C, Plosz BG, Ramin P, Rousis NI, Ryu Y, Thomas KV, de Voogt P, Zuccato E & Kasprzyk-Hordern B (2018) Enantiomeric profiling of chiral illicit drugs in a pan-European study, Water Research, 130 151-160.
- Alzahrani H, Antoine C, Aoki K, Baker L, Balme S, Bentley C, Bhattacharya G, Bohn PW, Cai Q, Cao C, Commandeur D, Crooks RM, Edwards M, Ewing A, Fu KY, Galeyeva A, Gao R, Hersbach T, Hillman R, Hu YX, Jiang L, Kanoufi F, Kranz C, Liu SC, Loffler T, Long YT, MacPherson J, McKelvey K, Minteer S, Mirkin M, Mount A, Nichols R, Nogala W, Ohl D, Qiu KP, Ren H, Rudd J, Schuhmann W, Siwy Z, Tian ZQ, Unwin P, Wang YX, Wilde P, Wu YF, Yang ZG & Ying YL (2018) Processes at nanoelectrodes: general discussion, Faraday Discussions, 210 235-265.
- Wei B, Mao K, Liu N, Zhang M & Yang Z (2018) Graphene nanocomposites modified electrochemical aptamer sensor for rapid and highly sensitive detection of prostate specific antigen, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 121 41-46.
- Alzahrani H, Bentley C, Bohn PW, Chikere C, Commandeur D, Crooks RM, Ehi-Eromosele C, Ewing A, Galeyeva A, Hersbach T, Hillman R, Kanoufi F, Koper M, Kranz C, Loffler T, Long YT, MacPherson J, McKelvey K, Minteer S, Mirkin M, Nichols R, Nogala W, Ohl D, Pelta J, Ren H, Rudd J, Schuhmann W, Tian ZQ, Unwin P, Vezzoli A, Willets K, Wu YF, Yang ZG, Zhan DP & Zhao CA (2018) Energy conversion at nanointerfaces: general discussion, Faraday Discussions, 210 333-351.
- Alzahrani H, Bentley C, Burrows R, Cao C, Cai Q, Chikere C, Crooks RM, Dunevall J, Edwards M, Ewing A, Gao R, Hillman R, Kahram M, Kanoufi F, Kranz C, Lemineur JF, Long YT, McKelvey K, Mirkin M, Moore S, Nogala W, Ren H, Schuhmann W, Unwin P, Vezzoli A, White H, Willets K, Yang ZG & Ying YL (2018) Dynamics of nanointerfaces: general discussion, Faraday Discussions, 210 451-479.
- Mao K, Zhou Z, Han S, Zhou X, Hu J, Li X & Yang Z (2018) A novel biosensor based on Au@Ag core-shell nanoparticles for sensitive detection of methylamphetamine with surface enhanced Raman scattering, Talanta, 190 263-268.
- Yang Z, Xu G, Reboud J, Kasprzyk-Hordern B & Cooper JM (2017) Monitoring genetic population biomarkers with wastewater-based epidemiology, Analytical Chemistry, 89 (18) 9941-9945.
- Rousis NI, Gracia-Lor E, Zuccato E, Bade R, Baz-Lomba JA, Castrignanò E, Causanilles A, Covaci A, de Voogt P, Hernàndez F, Kasprzyk-Hordern B, Kinyua J, McCall A, Plósz BG, Ramin P, Ryu Y, Thomas KV, van Nuijs A, Yang Z & Castiglioni S (2017) Wastewater-based epidemiology to assess pan-European pesticide exposure, Water Research, 121 (September) 270-279.
- Gracia-Lor E, Rousis NI, Zuccato E, Bade R, Baz-Lomba JA, Castrignanò E, Causanilles A, Hernández F, Kasprzyk-Hordern B, Kinyua J, McCall A, van Nuijs ALN, Plósz BG, Ramin P, Ryu Y, Santos MM, Thomas K, de Voogt P, Yang Z & Castiglioni S (2017) Estimation of caffeine intake from analysis of caffeine metabolites in wastewater, Science of the Total Environment, 609 1582-1588.
- Gracia-Lor E, Castiglioni S, Bade R, Been F, Castrignano E, Covaci A, Gonzalez-Marino I, Hapeshi E, Kasprzyk-Hordern B, Kinyua J, Lai FY, Letzel T, Lopardo L, Meyer MR, O'Brien J, Ramin P, Rousis NI, Rydevik A, Ryu Y, Santos MM, Senta I, Thomaidis NS, Veloutsou S, Yang Z, Zuccato E & Bijlsma L (2017) Measuring biomarkers in wastewater as a new source of epidemiological information: Current state and future perspectives, Environment International, 99 131-150.
- Mao K, Yang Z, Li J, Zhou X, Li X & Hu J (2017) A novel colorimetric biosensor based on non-aggregated Au@Ag core–shell nanoparticles for methamphetamine and cocaine detection, Talanta, 175 338-346.
- Mao K, Yang ZG, Du P, Xu ZQ, Wang ZL & Li XQ (2016) G-quadruplex-hemin DNAzyme molecular beacon probe for the detection of methamphetamine, RSC Advances, 6 (67).
- Yang Z, Castrignano E, Estrela P, Frost CG & Kasprzyk-Hordern B (2016) Community sewage sensors towards evaluation of drug use trends: detection of cocaine in wastewater with DNA-directed immobilization aptamer sensors, Scientific Reports, 6 Article No. 21024.
- Yang Z, D'Uriac MA, Goggins S, Kasprzyk-Hordern B, Thomas KV, Frost CG & Estrela P (2015) A novel DNA biosensor using a ferrocenyl intercalator applied to the potential detection of human population biomarkers in wastewater, Environmental Science and Technology, 49 (9) 5609-5617.
- Yang Z, Kasprzyk-Hordern B, Goggins S, Frost CG & Estrela P (2015) A novel immobilization strategy for electrochemical detection of cancer biomarkers: DNA-directed immobilization of aptamer sensors for sensitive detection of prostate specific antigens, The Analyst, 140 (8) 2628-2633.
- Yang Z, Kasprzyk-Hordern B, Frost CG, Estrela P & Thomas KV (2015) Community sewage sensors for monitoring public health, Environmental Science and Technology, 49 (10) 5845-5846.
- Yang Z, Chevolot Y, Gehin T, Solassol J, Mange A, Souteyrand E & Laurenceau E (2013) Improvement of protein immobilization for the elaboration of tumor-associated antigen microarrays: Application to the sensitive and specific detection of tumor markers from breast cancer sera, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 40 (1) 385-392.
- Yang Z, Chevolot Y, Gehin T, Dugas V, Xanthopoulos N, Laporte V, Delair T, Ataman-Onal Y, Choquet-Kastylevsky G, Souteyrand E & Laurenceau E (2013) Characterization of three amino-functionalized surfaces and evaluation of antibody immobilization for the multiplex detection of tumor markers involved in colorectal cancer, Langmuir, 29 (5) 1498-1509.
- Sui N, Monnier V, Yang Z, Chevolot Y, Laurenceau E, Souteyrand E & Dugas V (2012) Preparation of core-shell silver/silica nanopaticles and their application for enhancement of cyanine 3 fluorescence, International Journal of Nanoscience, 11 (04) Article No. 1240020.
- Yang Z, Chevolot Y, Ataman-Onal Y, Choquet-Kastylevsky G, Souteyrand E & Laurenceau E (2012) Cancer biomarkers detection using 3D microstructured protein chip: Implementation of customized multiplex immunoassay, Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, 175 22-28.
- Laurenceau E, Yang ZG, Chevolot Y, Attaman Y, Choquet-Kastylevsky G & Souteyrand E (2011) Tumor antigens titration on novel miniaturized immunoassay: 3D-Protein chip performance evaluation, Bulletin du Cancer, 98 S70-S70.
- Yang Z & Mai K (2011) Nonisothermal crystallization and melting behavior of beta-mucleated isotactic polypropylene and polyamide 66 blends, Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 119 (6) 3566-3573.
- Yang Z, Laurenceau E, Chevolot Y, Önal YA, Choquet-Kastylevsky G & Souteyrand E (2011) Cancer biomarkers detection using microstructured protein chip: implementation of customized multiplex immunoassay, Procedia Engineering, 25 952-955.
- Yang Z & Mai K (2010) Crystallization and melting behavior of beta-nucleated isotactic polypropylene/polyamide 6 blends with maleic anhydride grafted polyethylene-vinyl acetate as a compatibilizer, Thermochimica Acta, 511 (1-2) 152-158.
- Yang Z, Zhang Z, Tao Y & Mai K (2009) Preparation, crystallization behavior, and melting characteristics of beta-nucleated isotactic polypropylene blends with polyamide 6, Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 112 (1) 1-8.
- Yang Z, Chen C, Liang D, Zhang Z & Mai K (2009) Melting characteristic and beta-crystal content of beta-nucleated polypropylene/polyamide 6 alloys prepared using different compounding methods, Polymer International, 58 (12) 1366-1372.
- Zhang Z, Tao Y, Yang Z & Mai K (2008) Preparation and characteristics of nano-CaCO3 supported beta-nucleating agent of polypropylene, European Polymer Journal, 44 (7) 1955-1961.
- Yang Z, Zhang Z, Tao Y & Mai K (2008) Effects of polyamide 6 on the crystallization and melting behavior of P-nucleated polypropylene, European Polymer Journal, 44 (11) 3754-3763.
- Zhang Z, Wang C, Yang Z, Chen C & Mai K (2008) Crystallization behavior and melting characteristics of PP nucleated by a novel supported beta-nucleating agent, Polymer, 49 (23) 5137-5145.