To address diagnostic issues pointed out by clinicians and end-users to underpin technology adoption

To deliver diagnostic solutions, our research aims to push the boundaries of the performance of biosensors, as powerful diagnostic tools, by harnessing advances in materials science and nanotechnology driven by principles found in nature.

Nature-inspired materials have drawn the attention of the research community to shed light into the relationship between the structural features of billions of years of nature evolution and the intertwined functions. To provide reliable detection solutions to emerging diagnostics problems, our efforts are devoted to mimic biological interfaces, a limiting frontier of disciplines such as materials science, engineering, chemistry and biology.

Our research aims to deliver diagnostic solutions to face global issues associated to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and thus slow down its emergence. From a clinical perspective, we seek to develop diagnostic tools underpinning precision medicine through an accurate diagnosis able to easily determine the need to treat with antibiotics, and if so, guide the choice of a suitable narrow-spectrum antibiotic. From an environmental perspective, our goal is to develop diagnostic tools fit-for-purpose to improve our understanding of AMR emergence and spread in the environment, and to support AMR monitoring and control.

Nanoarchitectures and their biointerface: Advances in nanofabrication to control the preparation of building blocks, built on or from porous nanostructures, assembled in hierarchical structures, with tuneable wettability and surface chemistry, able to display selective bioreceptors and stimuli-responsive properties, are strongly intertwined with the material’s functions. Gathering a better understanding of the relationship between nanoarchitecture / displayed functionalities and function is a key milestone in the design of versatile sensing platforms able to suit human and animal health diagnosis at each infection stage, as well as environmental monitoring of factors contributing to the emergence and spread of AMR.

Wearable biosensing technologies based on nano- and microstructured materials. Arrays of nano- and microstructures have been shown as ideal interfaces with skin to access both sweat and interstitial fluid, and to offer a confined environment that protects the biorecognition layer. With the aim of harnessing the unique properties displayed by these arrays of nanostructures, further research is ongoing seeking simple, cost-effective and high-throughput fabrication techniques. Template synthesis of nanostructures meets those requirements, overcoming shortcomings of more sophisticated and convoluted approaches such as nanolithography or deep reactive ion etching.

For electrochemical biosensing: Having the tools to tune morphology and modify pSi and NAA to change their wettability, conductivity and surface chemistry, the project aims to unlock the limited applicability of single-layer porous structures in electrochemical sensing, and fully exploit the potential offered by multi-layer architectures. The use of double-layer porous structures will be proven for the first time in electrochemical sensing to (1) perform sequential sensing of various analytes in a single platform, and (2) minimise interferences based on size-exclusion.

 

Nature-inspired materials

To deliver diagnostic solutions pushing the boundaries of the performance of biosensors, by harnessing advances in materials science and nanotechnology driven by principles found in nature.

Clinical and environmental diagnostic solutions

Diagnostic solutions to face global issues associated to antimicrobial resistance via precision medicine, and environmental antimicrobial resistance monitoring and control.

Nanoarchitectures and their biointerface

Gathering a better understanding of the relationship between nanoarchitecture / displayed functionalities and function is a key milestone in the design of versatile sensing platforms.

Wearable biosensing technologies

Arrays of nano- and microstructures prepared by template synthesis of porous structures as ideal interfaces with skin to access biofluids, and to offer a confined environment that protects the sensing layer.

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