Contact Professor David Cullen
- Tel: +44 (0) 1234 758340
- Email: email@example.com
Areas of expertise
- Biosensors & Diagnostics
- CBRN Focus Areas
- Defence Sensors
- Instrumentation, Sensors and Measurement Science
- Space Systems
Professor David Cullen’s original training was in biochemistry at the University of East Anglia. He developed an interest in biosensor and bioanalytical technology research and development during his PhD and postdoctoral studies at the University of Cambridge.
His initial academic appointment in the mid-nineties within the biotechnology activities at Cranfield University continued this work with applications in the medical and environmental sectors.
His involvement with the space sector began with a chance encounter with a member of the UK Beagle 2 Mars lander team and a discussion about environmental biosensors being relevant to detecting life on Mars. This discussion led to the proposing, selection and then development of the multiplexed immunoassay based Life Marker Chip instrument for the ESA ExoMars rover until the instrument de-selection during the major ExoMars mission revision in 2012.
Since then he has transferred to the Space
Group in the School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing at
Cranfield University where he holds a professorial chair in Astrobiology
and Space Biotechnology. He continues a range of activities involving
the development of space relevant technology and instrumentation and
especially within areas relevant to astrobiology and biosciences.
Current applications include the exploitation of CubeSat spacecraft as
platforms to perform microgravity and space radiation bioscience
experiments and development of early in situ demonstrations of ISRU on Near Earth Asteroids via CubeSat payloads
Current activitiesThe development and application of biosensors, bio-diagnostics and related bio-analytical technologies is the theme of Prof Cullen's past and current research. During the past decade, his main focus has been the design and application of such technologies in the field of astrobiology and space systems.
Recent and current projects include:
- Joint lead-investigator for the Life Marker Chip (LMC) experiment for evidence of life detection on Mars as part of ESA's ExoMars rover mission (STFC / UKSA funded).
- Development of the Bioscience, Astrobiology, Medical and Materials science experiments on CubeSats (BAMMsat) concept to exploit CubeSat platforms for bioscience and materials sciences experiments in LEO and beyond (UKSA funded).
- Application and development of suites of in situ life detection and characterisation techniques for subglacial environments at the Svartisen Subglacial Laboratory in the Norwegian Arctic, Leverett Glacier in Western Greenland and glacial and volcanic sites in Iceland (EPSRC funded).
- Use of stratospheric balloon platforms to study life in the upper atmosphere including design, build and flight of the Cranfield Astrobiological Stratospheric Sampling Experiment (CASS•E) instrument - flown twice in 2010 (partially ESA funded) and design and use of lightweight, low-cost high altitude balloon (HAB) platforms.
- Study to confirm survivability of immunoassay reagents in simulated and real space environments including via the LMC experiment on ESA's Biopan-6 / Foton-M3 low-Earth orbit mission.
- Development of the Hypervelocity Artificial Meteoroid Experiment (HAM•E) mission concept that proposes to enter >500kg of artificial meteoroid material into the Earth's atmosphere at >11km/s to contribute understanding to the evolution of the Early Earth and the current threat of Near Earth Objects.
- Technology transfer of bioanalytical activities from extreme environment applications to those in medical, environmental, security and defence applications - currently sample processing for solid tissue biopsy samples.
- Public outreach activities including schools lectures and appearances on radio and TV.
ClientsPublic funding bodies including: BBSRC, EPSRC, STFC, UKSA, ESA and EC and funding from both national and international commercial sources.
Articles In Journals
- Tan GK, Simpson A, Holtzen S, Amador E, Cable ML, Cantrell T, Cullen T, Duca Z, Gentry D, Kirby J, McCraig H, Muruksan G, Patel A, Pital A, Rader E, Rennie V, Sutton S, Stevens A, Whitehead J, Cullen DC, Geppert W & Stockton AM (2022) Spatial variation in results of biosignature analyses of apparently homogeneous samples from mars analogue environments in Iceland, ACS Earth and Space Chemistry, Available online 18 May 2022 (6).
- Rader E, Simpson A, Amador E, Fraser JM, Holtzen S, Hanna A, Cable ML, Cullen T, Duca Z, Gentry D, Murukesan G, Rennie V, Stevens AH, Sutton S, Tan G, Cullen D, Geppert W & Stockton A (2020) Preferably Plinian and Pumaceous: implications of microbial activity in modern volcanic deposits at Askja Volcano, Iceland, and relevancy for Mars exploration, ACS Earth and Space Chemistry, 4 (9) 1500-1514.
- Gentry DM, Amador ES, Cable ML, Chaudry N, Cullen T, Jacobsen MB, Murukesan G, Schwieterman EW, Stevens AH, Stockton A, Tan G, Yin, Cullen DC & Geppert W (2017) Correlations between life-detection techniques and implications for sampling site selection in planetary analog missions, Astrobiology, 17 (10) 1009-1021.
- Payler SJ, Biddle JF, Coates AJ, Cousins CR, Cross RE, Cullen DC, Downs MT, Direito SO, Edwards T, Gray AL & Genis J (2017) Planetary science and exploration in the deep subsurface: results from the MINAR Program, Boulby Mine, UK, International Journal of Astrobiology, 16 (2) 114-129.
- Barnett MJ, Pawlett M, Wadham JL, Jackson M & Cullen DC (2016) Demonstration of a multi-technique approach to assess glacial microbial populations in the field, Journal of Glaciology, 62 (232) 348-358.
- Al Qaraghuli M, Palliyil S, Broadbent G, Cullen D, Charlton K & Porter A (2015) Defining the complementarities between antibodies and haptens to refine our understanding and aid the prediction of a successful binding interaction, BMC Biotechnology, 15 (1) Article No. 99.
- Amador ES, Cable ML, Chaudry N, Cullen T, Gentry D, Jacobsen MB, Murukesan G, Schwieterman EW, Stevens AH, Stockton A, Yin C, Cullen DC & Geppert W (2015) Synchronous in-field application of life-detection techniques in planetary analog missions, Planetary and Space Science, 106 1-10.
- Derveni M, Allen M, Sawakuchi GO, Yukihara EG, Richter L, Sims MR & Cullen DC (2013) Survivability of immunoassay reagents exposed to the space radiation environment on board the ESA BIOPAN-6 platform as a prelude to performing immunoassays on Mars, Astrobiology, 13 (1) 92-102.
- Barnett MJ, Wadham JL, Jackson M & Cullen DC (2012) In-Field Implementation of a Recombinant Factor C Assay for the Detection of Lipopolysaccharide as a Biomarker of Extant Life within Glacial Environments, Biosensors, 2 (1) 83-100.
- Court RW, Rix CS, Sims MR, Cullen DC & Sephton MA (2012) Extraction of polar and nonpolar biomarkers from the martian soil using aqueous surfactant solutions, Planetary and Space Science, 67 (1) 109-118.
- Sims MR, Cullen DC, Rix CS, Buckley A, Derveni M, Evans D, Miguel García-Con L, Rhodes A, Rato CC, Stefinovic M, Sephton MA, Court RW, Bulloch C, Kitchingman I, Ali Z, Pullan D, Holt J, Blake O, Sykes J, Samara-Ratna P, Canali M, Borst G, Leeuwis H, Prak A, Norfini A, Geraci E, Tavanti M, Brucato J & Holm N (2012) Development status of the life marker chip instrument for ExoMars, Planetary and Space Science, 72 (1) 129-137.
- Barnett MJ, Pearce DA & Cullen DC (2012) Advances in the in-field detection of microorganisms in ice., Advances in Applied Microbiology, 81 133-167.
- Derveni M, Hands A, Allen M, Sims MR & Cullen DC (2012) Effects of simulated space radiation on immunoassay components for life-detection experiments in planetary exploration missions., Astrobiology, 12 (8) 718-29.
- Court RW, Sims MR, Cullen DC & Sephton MA (2012) Potential failure of life detection experiments on Mars resulting from adsorption of organic compounds on to common instrument materials, Planetary and Space Science, 73 (1) 262-270.
- Rix CS, Sims MR & Cullen DC (2011) Immunological detection of small organic molecules in the presence of perchlorates: relevance to the life marker chip and life detection on Mars., Astrobiology, 11 (9) 839-846.
- Sathe M, Derveni M, Broadbent G, Bodlenner A, Charlton K, Ravi B, Rohmer M, Sims MR & Cullen DC (2011) Synthesis and characterisation of immunogens for the production of antibodies against small hydrophobic molecules with biosignature properties., Analytica Chimica Acta, 708 (1-2) 97-106.
- Sathe M, Derveni M, Allen M & Cullen DC (2010) Use of polystyrene-supported 2-isobutoxy-1-isobutoxycarbonyl-1,2-dihydroquinoline for the preparation of a hapten-protein conjugate for antibody development., Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 20 (5) 1792-1795.
- Court RW, Baki AO, Sims MR, Cullen D & Sephton MA (2010) Novel solvent systems for in situ extraterrestrial sample analysis, Planetary and Space Science, 58 (11) 1470-1474.
- Henry OYF, Piletsky SA & Cullen DC (2008) Fabrication of molecularly imprinted polymer microarray on a chip by mid-infrared laser pulse initiated polymerisation, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 23 (12) 1769-1775.
- Taylor JA, Karim K, Cullen DC, Swann M & Freeman N (2007) Measurement of Conformational Changes in the Structure of Transglutaminase on Binding Calcium Ions using Optical Evanescent Dual Polarisation Interferometry, Analytical Chemistry, 79 (8) 3023-3031.
- Parnell J, Cullen DC, Sims MR, Bowden S, Cockell CS, Court R, Ehrenfreund P, Gaubert F, Grant W, Parro V, Rohmer M, Sephton M, Stan-Lotter H, Steele A, Toporski J & Vago J (2007) Searching for Life on Mars: Selection of Molecular Targets for ESA's Aurora ExoMars Mission, Astrobiology, 7 (4) 578-604.
- Thompson DP, Wilson PK, Sims MR, Cullen DC, Holt JMC, Parker DJ & Smith MD (2006) Preliminary investigation of proton and helium ion radiation effects on fluorescent dyes for use in astrobiology applications, Analytical Chemistry, 78 (8) 2738-2743.
- Behar A, Blake D, Christoffersen P, Bentley M, Cockell C, Corr H, Cullen DC, Edwards H, Ellery A, Ellis-Evans C, Griffiths G, Hindmarsh R, Hodgson D, King E, Lane L, Makinson K, Mowlem M, Parnell J, Pearce D, Priscu J, Rivera A, Sephton M, Siegert M, Sims M, Smith A, Tranter M, Wadham J, Wilson G & Woodward J (2006) Exploration of Ellsworth Subglacial Lake: a concept paper on the development, organisation and execution of an experiment to explore, measure and sample the environment of a West Antarctic subglacial lake, Reviews in Environmental Science and Biotechnology, 6 161-179.
- Lee JH, Mitchell RJ, Kim BC, Cullen DC & Gu MB (2005) A cell array biosensor for environmental toxicity analysis, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 21 (3) 500-507.
- Sims MR, Cullen DC, Bannister NP, Grant WD, Henry O, Jones R, McKnight D, Thompson DP & Wilson PK (2005) The specific molecular identification of life experiment (Smile), Planetary and Space Science, 53 (8) 781-791.
- Henry OYF, Cullen DC & Piletsky SA (2005) Optical interrogation of molecularly imprinted polymers and development of MIP sensors: a review, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 382 (4) 947-956.
- Lotierzo M, Henry O Y F, Piletsky Sergey A, Tothill Ibtisam E, Cullen D, Kania M, Hock B & Turner Anthony P F (2004) Surface plasmon resonance sensor for domoic acid based on grafted imprinted polymer, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 20 (2) 145-152.
- Dunn SC, Cullen DC, Abad-Garcia E, Bertoni C, Carter R, Howorth D & Whatmore RW (2004) Using the surface spontaneous depolaristion field of ferroelectrics to direct the assembly of virus particles, Applied Physics Letters, 85 (16) 3537-3539.
- Dunn Steve, Cullen Dave, Abad-Garcia Estefania, Bertoni Cristina, Carter Richard C, Howorth Dave & Whatmore Roger W (2004) Using the surface spontaneous depolarization field of ferroelectrics to direct the assembly of virus particles., Applied Physics Letters, 85 (16) 3537-3539.
- Jawaheer S, White SF, Bhugun I & Cullen DC (2003) Development of a common biosensor format for an enzyme based biosensor array to monitor fruit quality, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 18 (12) 1429-1437.
- Lee HJ, Villaume J, Cullen DC, Kim BC & Gu MB (2003) Monitoring and classification of PAH toxicity using an immobilized bioluminescent bacteria, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 18 (5-6) 571-577.
- Jawaheer S, White SF, Rughooputh SDDV & Cullen DC (2002) Enzyme stabilization using pectin as a novel entrapment matrix in biosensors, Analytical Letters, 35 (13) 2077-2091.
- Taylor JA, Barrett G, Lorch W & Cullen DC (2002) Detection of Pyrogens in ultra-pure water by a surface plasmon resonance biosensor, Analytical Letters, 35 (2) 213-225.
- Sesay AM & Cullen DC (2001) Detection of hormone mimics in water using a miniturised SPR sensor, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 70 (1-2) 83-92.
- Thompson DP, Wilson PK, Sims MR & Cullen DC Preliminary Investigation of Gamma Ray Irradiation as a Potential Planetary Protection Measure for Fluorescent Dyes used in Astrobiology Applications, Astrobiology.
- Sitepu E & Cullen D (2018) CubeSat 3U-payload for in-situ resource utilisation demonstration at C-type near Earth asteroids. In: 69th International Astronautical Congress (IAC-18), 2018, Bremen, 1-5 October 2018.
- Gentry D, Amador E, Cable ML, Cantrell T, Chaudry N, Cullen T, Duca ZA, King D, Kirby J, Jacobsen MB & McCaig HC et al (2018) Astrobiological assay validation across gradients in Mars analogue sites: lessons from the FELDSPAR Project. In: AGU Fall Meeting 2018: American Geophysical Union, Washington, 10-14 December 2018.
- Gentry D, Stockton AM, Amador ES, Cable ML, Cantrell T, Chaudry N, Cullen T, Duca ZA, Jacobsen MB, Kirby J, McCaig HC, Murukesan G, Rennie V, Rader E, Stevens AH, Sutton SA, Tan G, Yin C, Cullen D & Geppert W (2017) Field exploration and life detection sampling for planetary analogue research (FELDSPAR). In: AGU Fall Meeting 2017: American Geophysical Union, New Orleans, 11-15 December 2017.
- Gentry D, Amador ES, Cable ML, Cantrell T, Chaudry N, Duca ZA, Jacobsen MB, Kirby J, McCaig HC, Murukesan G, Rader E, Cullen T, Rennie V, Schwieterman EW, Stevens AH, Sutton SA, Tan G, Yin C, Cullen D, Geppert W & Stockton AM (2017) Quantifying variability and correlation in biomarker and mineralogical measurements: lessons from five astrobiological Mars analogue expeditions in Iceland. In: AGU Fall Meeting 2017: American Geophysical Union, New Orleans, 11-15 December 2017.
- Juanes-Vallejo CM, Grama VV, Katramados I, Naicker L, Rato CC, Rix C, Sánchez-Camilo E, Patel MR & Cullen DC (2011) Cranfield astrobiological stratospheric sampling experiment (CASS•E): Overview of flight hardware configuration, implemented planetary protection and contamination control procedures and preliminary post-flight results. In: 20th ESA Symposium on European Rocket and Balloon Programmes and Related Research, Hyere, 22 May 2011.
- Cullen DC & Roberts PCE (2011)
The Hypervelocity Artificial Meteoroid Experiment (HAM.E): A Mission Concept Study. In: 74th Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting (2011), London, 8-12 August 2011.
- Naicker L, Grama VV, Juanes-Vallejo CM, Katramados I, Rato C, Rix C, Sanchez E & Cullen D (2010) CASS•E: Cranfield astrobiological stratospheric sampling experiment. In: IAC2010 : 61st International Astronautical Congress, Prague, 27 September 2010.
- Cullen DC & Sims MR (2007) Life Detection within Planetary Exploration: Context for Biosensor and Related Bio-analytical Technologies. In: Handbook of Biosensors and Biochips, Wiley-Interscience.
- Marks RS, Lowe CR, Cullen D, Weetall HH, Karube I (eds), (2007) Handbook of Biosensors and Biochips, Wiley-Interscience.