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Development of a simple, cheap, reliable device with shape variant nanoparticles for pathogen sensing

   Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Modelling and Material Science, UCL

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  Prof Nguyen T. K. Thanh  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Project
Infectious diseases are major public-health problem all over the world. Nanomaterials exhibit unique optical properties that are important in biosensor development. For diagnosis, nanosensors have great potential for on-site rapid detection, with the remaining challenges to be overcome, for example, ultrahigh sensitivity requirement for known analytes such as Dengue NS1, and low cost for home testing. This project aims to address these challenges, focusing on the development of plasmonic shaped variant nanoparticle-based sensing techniques.

The scopes include (1) developing highly sensitive plasmonic nanostructures through bottom up synthesis, coupled with biomarkers for Dengue NS1. We will identify the appropriate antibody/antigen pairs for different diagnostic tests (clinical management of diseases, or for monitoring and surveillance or home testing); (2) studying photochromic property for sensing; (3) engineering the sensors for on-site application including using portable optical detectors and printing the metal structures onto low-cost paper format. (4) Testing sensors for against the library of samples.

Please contact Professor Nguyen TK Thanh([Email Address Removed]) for further details or to express an interest.

Funding Notes

Due to large number of applications, only outstanding students with national awards and research publications are short-listed and may be contacted.


1. Thanh, N. T. K., Rosenzweig, Z. (2002). Development of an aggregation based immunoassay for anti-protein A using gold nanoparticles. Analytical Chemistry 74, 1624-1628. Impact Factor: 5.9, Citation: 348 by 2/2015
2. Thanh, N. T. K. (Ed.) (2012). Magnetic Nanoparticles: From Fabrication to Clinical Applications. 22 chapters, 616 Pages. Boca Raton, London, New York: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis
3. R. M. Pallares, X. Su, S. H. Lim, Thanh, N. T. K., Fine-Tuning Gold Nanorods Dimensions and Plasmonic Properties Using the Hofmeister Salt Effects. Journal of Material Chemistry C. 2015, 4, 53-61 (Front Cover).
4. Su, X. D.,* and Kanjanawarut, R., Control of metal nanoparticles aggregation and dispersion using PNA and PNA-DNA complexes, and its use for colorimetric DNA detection. ACS Nano 2009, 3, 2751–2759.
5. Pallares, R. M., Kong, S. L., Tan, H. R., Thanh, N.T.K.*, Lu, Y., and Su, X. D.,* A plasmonic nanosensor with inverse sensitivity for circulating cell-free DNA quantification. Chem Comm 2015, 51, 14524-14527.

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