Nanotechnology: KESS II Funded PhD Studentship: Development of Graphene Biosensors for food allergen sensors
*This scholarship is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.*
Brief Summary of project:
Exceptional electronic properties, surface sensitivity and selectivity, inferred by functionalisation, makes smart graphene sensors ideal for food safety applications. Novel, generic, real-time monitoring sensor technology, based on smart, chemically modified graphene transducers, will be demonstrated for the detection of milk proteins, peanut and tree nut allergens in food products.
Trace quantities of allergens can be present in food processing plants at very low concentrations and can trigger an immune response in allergic individuals, ranging from hives to severe gastrointestinal and respiratory symptoms, and in serious cases - anaphylactic shock.
The project will develop a real-time sensor system, for in-situ detection of food allergens.
The project would develop the first graphene allergen sensors. Electochemical detection using graphene sensors is far simpler for high-sensitivity, in situ, rapid testing / monitoring than lab-based Immunoassays. The PhD scholar will develop graphene devices and address a critical challenge in developing methods to passivate the metallic electrical contacts of the graphene device, during chemically modification of the active graphene element of the device (which requires aggressive chemicals) - enabling chemical modification of the graphene without degradation of the metal contacts. The scholar will also develop chemical modification processes for graphene.
Scholarships are collaborative awards with external partners including SME’s and micro companies, as well as public and third sector organisations. The scholarship provides 3 years of funding with a 6 month period to complete the thesis. The achievement of a postgraduate skills development award, PSDA, is compulsory for each KESS II scholar and is based on a 60 credit award.
Candidates should have a 2.1 or above in their undergraduate degree or higher in a relevant subject, such as Chemistry, Physics, Electronic Engineering, Materials, Biochemistry or a related subject. They should also be eligible for UK/EU Fees.
The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend. The bursary will be limited to a maximum of £14,340 p.a. dependent upon the applicant’s financial circumstances.
There will also be additional funds available for research expenses.