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  Biosensor for Point-of-Care DNA Detection

   School of Chemistry

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  Dr Ruchi Gupta  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

DNA detection is needed for a range of applications including clinical diagnostics and environmental monitoring. As target DNA is often present in very low concentrations, it is typically amplified using methods such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) [1], before detection. However, PCR is laborious and time consuming, making it less suitable for point-of-care detection. Thus, there has been a drive towards the development of biosensors for DNA detection [2].

The aim of this project is to develop a highly sensitive optofluidic biosensor based on interferometry [3], which comprise of two microfluidic channels filled with hydrogel, integrated with electrokinetic methods for DNA detection without PCR amplification. The electrokinetic methods will allow rapid transport of DNA targets in gel filled channels and concentrate DNA targets. The binding of DNA targets to capture probes immobilised in the hydrogel filled in microfluidic channels will change interference patterns. The interference patterns will be analysed using image processing methods and machine learning. The student will be based in the Gupta group ( in the School of Chemistry at University of Birmingham.

No scholarships are available for this project. Interested self-funded candidates may contact Dr Gupta ([Email Address Removed]) for an informal discussion.

Biological Sciences (4) Chemistry (6) Engineering (12) Physics (29)


[1] N.S. Templeton, The Polymerase Chain Reaction. History, Methods, and Applications, Diagnostic Molecular Pathology: The American Journal of Surgical Pathology, Part B, 1992, 1, 58. DOI: 10.1097/00019606-199203000-00008 .
[2] V. Kavitha, DNA Biosensors - A Review, Journal of Bioengineering and Biomedical Science, 2017, 7, 2. DOI: 10.4172/2155-9538.1000222.
[3] R. Gupta, E. Labella, N.J. Goddard, An Optofluidic Young Interferometer Sensor for Real-Time Imaging of Refractive Index in µTAS Applications, Sensors and Actuators B, 2020, 321, 128491. DOI: 10.1016/j.snb.2020.128491.

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 About the Project