Quantum Sensors for Early Disease Diagnosis

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: London Centre for Nanotechnology


This project will form part of the i-sense consortium, which aims to build a new generation of digital sensing systems to identify and prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance, much earlier than ever before. Early detection and accurate diagnosis are vital to help patients gain faster access to treatment and protect populations from diseases. I-sense mobile phone connected diagnostic tools aim to widen access to testing in GP surgeries, communities throughout the developing world and the home. The aim is to develop easy to use, low-cost, rapid POC diagnostic devices for early detection of communicable and non-communicable diseases, combining microfluidic paper analytical devices (PADs), specifically lateral flow tests, with consumer camera technology and novel nanomaterials, with the goal of improving the analytical sensitivity.

The unique properties of certain quantum nanomaterials make them ideal for incorporation into diagnostic devices. This experimental PhD project will focus on the use of novel fluorescent nanoparticles and sensitive, inexpensive readout strategies to improve the sensitivity and quantification of our low-cost diagnostics. Fluorescent nanoparticles will be combined with background subtraction techniques to enhance sensitivity, as well as novel lateral flow designs and incorporation of other nanomaterials to reduce and separate non-specific binding. The project interdisciplinary will involve nanoparticle conjugation, surface chemistry, protein binding and modification, nanoparticle synthesis and characterisation, optics, device engineering, assay and experimental design. There is also scope for field-testing of diagnostic devices and finite element analysis modelling of nanoparticle-biomolecule complexes


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513143/1 30/09/2018 29/09/2023
2277381 Studentship EP/R513143/1 25/11/2019 24/11/2023 Max Jason McRobbie