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PhD in Healthcare Technology Development using Biosensors: Novel Point-of-Care Lateral Flow Assay for Salivary Biomarkers

Department of Electrical Engineering and Electronics

About the Project

Saliva is an incredibly rich matrix, a valuable source of biomarkers for a range of diseases, yet it is vastly underutilised in medical diagnosis. Salivary technologies are emerging as valid alternatives to traditional blood and serum-based systems for portable, rapid, non-invasive, point-of-care (PoC) testing. In this PhD, in collaboration with Medics and Researchers from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital (, you will develop a novel, paper-based lateral flow immunoassay for the detection of hormone biomarkers (such as cortisol) from saliva.

For this interdisciplinary project you will work in collaboration with Alder Hey Children’s hospital (one of Europe’s largest, research-intensive children’s hospitals), Sensor City ( and have full access (and training) from multiple labs between the Department of Electronic Engineering ( and Department of Chemistry (, at the University of Liverpool.

You should ideally have a degree in a physical or medical science, or an engineering discipline. Masters level students are encouraged to apply. If you have a strong Bachelor’s degree or have relevant experience (e.g., prior project experience, work experience, industry experience, publications, demonstrable interest in the topic, etc.), you are also encouraged to enquire. In exceptional circumstances those with a non-traditional educational background will be considered dependent upon relevant experience. A strong interest and/or familiarity with microfluidics, paper-based sensors, biotechnology, lateral flow assays, immunoassays, diagnostic testing, molecular diagnostics, biosensors, analytical chemistry, lab-on-chip is desirable but not essential. Applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

If you are interested, please email Prof Simon Maher () for further details with the project title in the subject of your email and include a copy of your CV.

Funding Notes

The project is open worldwide, to applicants of any nationality. It is unfunded and applicants are encouraged to contact the Principal Supervisor directly to discuss their application and the project.

The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for tuition fees and living expenses as well as research costs of £3000 per year.

A fee bursary may be available for well qualified and motivated applicants.

Details of costs can be found on the University website.

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