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Chemical Sensing Ingestible Devices

   Department of Mechanical Engineering

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  Dr G Cummins  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Ingestible devices similar to capsule endoscopes have the potential to lead to earlier diagnosis of gastrointestinal diseases such as colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases, as well as improve our understanding of the conditions that lead to the origin of such conditions. In recent years, many ingestible devices have been created to sense changes in physical parameters such as pressure, pH and temperature, with only a few capable of detecting changes in concentrations of chemical biomarkers. 

This PhD project will focus on the development of an ingestible capsule that incorporates low power consumption, embedded electronic systems capable of communications, power management and data storage in addition to signal acquisition from onboard chemical sensors. This will enable in-situ detection of changes in the biomarker concentration in the GI tract to further aid in the localisation of GI disease. This research programme will lead to a selective and sensitive chemically sensing capsule suitable for clinical translation. 

The PhD candidate should have completed (or be about to complete) his/her undergraduate degree in Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or Physics (preferably with first-class honours or equivalent). The PhD candidate is expected to have a keen interest in healthcare technology, and good electronic design skills, experience with programming is desirable. Details of the project will be agreed upon with the successful candidate to tailor the research to their interests.

The research programme will take place in the Biomedical Engineering research group ( in the School of Engineering at the University of Birmingham.

For details of the funding available, advice on applying or any other informal enquiries, please contact Dr Gerard Cummins at [Email Address Removed] Applications can be submitted at by including the title of the project and the name of the supervisor (Dr Gerard Cummins).

Funding Notes

Funding is awarded on a competitive basis, is only available to UK/EU nationals and covers the tuition fees and provides a living stipend for 3.5 years. Non-UK/EU candidates with the correct qualifications will be considered if they are self-funded or have secured their own funding.
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