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Electrochemical Sensors for Medulloblastoma Diagnostic and Prognostics


   School of Science, Engineering and Environment

  ,  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Early diagnosis is vital for improved disease management for cancer patients. Similarly, timely prognosis of disease status during treatment is also vital in improving outcomes. Traditional diagnostics (e.g. imaging, biopsies, etc) are limiting in this respect, as they are high-cost, slow, cumbersome, and unsuitable for point-of-care (POC) diagnostics. Electrochemical sensors have to potential to overcome these limitations by detecting circulating disease biomarkers in a rapid, low-cost, POC fashion. Early diagnosis and improved prediction of prognosis will lead to enhanced survival rates and overall better disease management. This will also reduce the cost of healthcare for long term conditions. Consequently, electrochemical sensors have received significant attention in recent years.

Medulloblastoma is the most common form of brain tumour in children - with survival rates that are highly dependent on timely diagnosis and prognosis. A number of circulating protein diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers have recently been identified for this disease. In addition to these proteins, small extracellular vesicles (sEV) emitted by cells have been shown to play a role in medulloblastoma. This suggest medulloblastoma sEV can also serve as circulating target biomarkers for electrochemical sensors.

In this work, the PhD student will develop electrochemical sensors for detecting free-protein and sEV medulloblastoma biomarkers using novel electrochemical sensing strategies. This is a highly interdisciplinary project allowing for the development of a wide range of skills and experience. The work has the potential to significantly enhance medulloblastoma patient outcomes.

The supervisory team includes Dr Joshua Lehr and Dr Arijit Mukhopadhyay. Dr Joshua Lehr has significant research experience in electrochemistry, functional interfaces, and the development of biosensors. Dr Arijit Mukhopadhyay has worked extensively in human biomedical genomics including work on sEV.

The laboratory facilities include electrochemistry, nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) including fluorescence (fNTA), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Mammalian cell culture, western blot, next generation sequencing etc. The laboratory has established a workflow for characterising sEVs and its cargo.


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