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PhD – (CAST) studentship in flexible skin sweat electrochemical sensing utilising laser induced graphene

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Applicants are invited to undertake a 3 year PhD program in partnership with a global leader in health care systems. The project will involve the development of a scalable skin-attachable electrochemical sensor that is capable of detecting important analytes such as glucose and urea, in human perspiration. The growing field of wearable sensors aims to tackle the limitations of centralized healthcare by giving individuals insight into the dynamics of their own physiology. The long-term vision is to develop sensors that can be integrated into wearable skin formats like wristbands or patches to continuously probe a range of body’s vital signs. By conveying physiological information as the body evolves over healthy and ailing states, these sensors will enable users to monitor themselves without resorting to expensive equipment or trained professionals.

The sensor will be based on laser induced graphene (LIG) directly formed on commercially available (e.g. polyimide) or appropriately developed flexible substrates by direct laser writing with a CO2 laser.

The LIG has a conductive porous morphology suitable for biosensing.

On its own right, the method is versatile since it can be adapted to existing commercial platforms for directly “writing” graphene, thus surpassing other chemical or lithography based methods.

The research student will fabricate flexible electrode sensor structures using laser induced graphene based structures and will develop detection strategies for the evaluation of glucose and urea analytes in artificial sweat and real sweat.

S/he will use state-of-the-art facilities in the Northern Ireland bioengineering Centre (NIBEC) of Ulster and will work as part of a larger project research team of established researchers and PhD students working in advanced materials and wearable sensors. The project is supported by a global health care manufacturer. The student will be trained in the fields of electrochemical biosensing, laser microfabrication, ink-jet printing, materials characterisation and polymer device fabrication. The candidate applying for this PhD project should have interest in biomedical sensing (electrochemical sensing and sensor fabrication) as well as in aspects related to nanomaterials (e.g. synthesis, properties, characterization, laser processing etc.). Applications are particularly encouraged from graduates with a Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science, Engineering, Biochemistry, Biological/Biomedical Sciences or a closely related discipline.

Entrance Requirements:

This post is available for UK, European Union and overseas students. Candidates should hold a first or upper second class honors degree in Engineering, Physical Sciences, or a cognate area. Applications will be considered on a competitive basis with regard to the candidate’s qualifications, skills experience and interests.

Successful candidates will enroll in September 2019, on a full-time programme of research studies leading to the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, upon successful performance.

This 3 year PhD programme, commencing in September 2019 comes with a highly attractive stipend of ~£20,100 with all fees covered.

For more information on this project please contact: Professor Pagona Papakonstantinou,

For more information on applying go to
Apply online:

The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 18th February 2019
Interviews will be held shortly after the above deadline.

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