Earlier diagnostic/detection for diseases (cancer, chronic or foodborne) enables doctors making rapid clinical decision, which considerably enhance the success of treatment and medical intervention and ultimately benefits to human health. Foodborne diseases have been a growing worldwide public health problem, which encompass a wide spectrum of illnesses, such as E-Coli, Salmonellosis, Listeriosis, and Gastroenteritis. To reduce the risk, high risk food products must be tested before being sold for consumption. The traditional technique for diseases earlier diagnostic is to culture diseases typically 1-2 days and then to do the test, which not only delays clinical decision, but also high cost. There is hence an urgent need to develop a high sensitivity, non-invasive biosensor for fast detection of diseases in earlier stage. The aim of this project is to develop a novel high sensitivity, fast response and easy operating biosensor device which can manipulate and sense biomolecules, utilizing fibre optic interferometry sensing technique integrated with multifunctional microfluidic systems.
The hypotheses of this project is that a tapered microstructure singlemode-multimode-singlemode fibre structure can achieve very high refractive index sensitivity. By proper surface functionalisation on the sensor, it can be used to detect very low concentration biological analytes. As an example for the application of the developed biosensor, it will be demonstrated for detection, identification and quantification of foodborne pathogens with very high sensitivity (10 CFU/mL) and fast response (<1 hours). To achieve this goal, we propose to integrate the sensor with microfluidic system for sample manipulation, mixing, separation, concentration and detection, where our collaborator, Prof. Nicole Pamme in University of Hull has extensive experience in microfluidic systems.
Requirements: Academically strong candidates are sought who have BSc or Master’s Degree in Applied Physics or Optics or a closely related discipline. Experience in optoelectronics, optical fiber communications or optical sensing is desirable.
The principal supervisor for this project is Dr Qiang Wu. The second supervisor will be Dr Darren Smith.
Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.
For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/research/postgraduate-research-degrees/how-to-apply/
Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF20/EE/MPEE/WU) will not be considered.
Deadline for applications: Friday 24 January 2020
Start Date: 1 October 2020
Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.
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2. Dejun Liu, Fengzi Ling, Rahul Kumar, Arun Kumar Mallik, Ke Tian, Changyu Shen, Gerald Farrell, Yuliya Semenova, Qiang Wu, Pengfei Wang, “Sub-micrometer resolution liquid level sensor based on hollow core fiber structure”, Optics Letters, vol. 44, no. 8, pp. 2125-2128, 2019
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4. Dejun Liu, Rahul Kumar, Fangfang Wei, Wei Han, Arun Kumar Mallik, Jinhui Yuan, Shengpeng Wan, Xingdao He, Zhe Kang, Feng Li, Chongxiu Yu, Gerald Farrell, Yuliya Semenova and Qiang Wu, “High sensitivity optical fiber sensors for simultaneous measurement of methanol and ethanol”, Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, vol. 271, 15 October, pp. 1-8, 2018 (Q1).
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6. Fangfang Wei, Arun Kumar Mallik, Dejun Liu, Qiang Wu, Gang-Ding Peng, Gerald Farrell & Yuliya Semenova, “Magnetic field sensor based on a combination of a microfiber coupler covered with magnetic fluid and a Sagnac loop”, Scientific Reports, vol. 7, 2017 (Q1)
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