Nanoparticle reporters for highly localized ion and pH profiling on skin and porous surfaces

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Pure and Applied Chemistry


Functionalised conductive nanoparticles provide exciting new opportunities to enhance both sensitivity and measurement localisation capabilities across a wide range of electrochemical and optical analysis techniques. In this project, the aim is to develop a versatile platform that enables both of these signal transduction mechanisms to be utilised either individually or simultaneously. For example, with nanoreporters either immobilised in a complex matrix such as outer skin/membrane/gel layers or on a microelectrode surface.

The advantage of this is to enable more ambitious in-situ measurements with spatial resolutions ranging from <100 nm to the macro-scale using a combination of state-of-the-art equipment facilities available between Strathclyde and NPL. This includes expertise in nanoparticle synthesis/functionalisation and multimodal confocal optical imaging alongside scanning electrochemical microscopy and near-field optical imaging capabilities. This will enable screening of nanoparticle sensor designs at individual particle resolution before translating these efforts to an in-situ demonstration. A primary focus of this project will be building upon complimentary expertise between Strathclyde and NPL. However, we also have plans in place to engage in discussions with other industrial scientists on identifying the target sensing species to inform the sensor design process with the potential to explore a wide range of ionophores, dye reporters etc that can be incorporated into a supporting porous matrix which is either the core of the particle itself or in a shell surrounding a metal particle. The end result will be a flexible approach that can be readily adapted to tackle challenging measurements in complex biologically relevant environments with the performance of the new sensor platform compared against standard pH and ion selective electrode measurements.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R512205/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021
1964818 Studentship EP/R512205/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021 Delali Kofi Boccorh