PhD Engineering: Sweat based sensor for Health monitoring
The steadily increasing number of cases (422M in 2014 - as per the first WHO Global report on diabetes) over the past few decades have made diabetes as one of four priority non-communicable diseases (NCDs) requiring urgent attention. Many of the current point-of-care diagnostic devices for diseases such as diabetes rely on invasive methods, which have resulted in 67% reduction in patient compliance in routine monitoring of capillary blood glucose concentrations. Further it is difficult to explore real time monitoring with existing solutions. However, not many alternatives have been explored in literature to overcome the current challenges, even if it is known that patients are likely to be more compliant with non-invasive monitoring of diagnostic parameters.
The goal of this project is to investigate an alternative approach for non-invasive monitoring of NCDs such as diabetes. For this purpose, wearable and disposable sensors capable of detecting and measuring glucose and pH in body fluid such as sweat will be developed. Since the chemical composition and concentration of analytes in sweat is like the blood, the sweat is a potential treasure trove for detecting diabetes and therefore biosensors for sweat analysis will be developed. The project aims to blend nanotechnology, micro-fabrication of new printable electronics to produce highly sensitive sensors.
The key components of this project are fabrication of pH and glucose sensors by printing suitable materials (e.g. metal oxides) on flexible and disposable substrates, the sweat collection procedure, and effect of environment conditions on the sweat collection times and correlation of sweat and blood for glucose levels etc. The prospects of such wearable sensor patches are significantly higher for adoption in emerging m-health and personalized medicine. At the interface of biology, healthcare technology and flexible electronics, this project will open an interesting new direction for ongoing flexible electronics research at BEST group.
The student will receive full training in advanced nanofabrication, and printed electronics techniques, and sensors design. In addition, training in characterization and measurement of sensors will be provided. Working alongside post-doctoral researchers, the student will integrate various sensor modules to demonstrate high performance sweat monitoring device. As the BEST group at Glasgow University has strong collaborative linkages to leading global industrial and academic partners, the student will have the opportunity to showcase their talents to potential future employers. This PhD is supported by Cambridge Innovation Technologies Consulting Limited.
For more details on how to apply, please see the ’Apply Online’ link above/below.
Funding is available to cover tuition fees for UK/EU applicants, as well as paying a stipend at the Research Council rate (estimated £14,553 for Session 2017-18) for four years.