A primary motivation of our research is the monitoring of physical, physiological, and biochemical parameters - in any environment and without activity restriction and behaviour modification - through using miniaturised, wireless Body Sensor Networks (BSN). Key research issues that are currently being addressed include novel sensor designs, ultra-low power microprocessor and wireless platforms, energy scavenging, biocompatibility, system integration and miniaturisation, processing-on-node technologies combined with novel ASIC design, autonomic sensor networks and light-weight communication protocols. Our research is aimed at addressing the future needs of life-long health, wellbeing and healthcare, particularly those related to demographic changes associated with an ageing population and patients with chronic illnesses. This research theme is therefore closely aligned with the IGHI’s vision of providing safe, effective and accessible technologies for both developed and developing countries.

Some of our latest works were exhibited at the 2015 Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition.

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  • Book chapter
    Kassanos P, Anastasova S, Yang G-Z, 2018,

    Electrical and Physical Sensors for Biomedical Implants

    , Implantable Sensors and Systems: From Theory to Practice, Editors: Yang, Publisher: Springer, Pages: 99-195, ISBN: 978-3-319-69748-2

    In addition to the electrochemical sensors discussed in Chap. 2, a range of other sensing modalities are also important for biomedical and implantable applications. The frequency-dependent electrical properties of tissues are essential for assessing various physiological parameters. This, for example, can be quantified via electrical bioimpedance measurements, which can be combined and corroborated with electrochemical sensors. The human body is a dynamic system in constant motion; therefore, sensors for the measurement of physical properties such as strain and pressure are also important. Sensors for these applications rely on the measurement of resistance, capacitance, and sometimes inductance, and these will also be discussed in this chapter for completeness. Temperature is an important health marker for various applications, and consequently the current state of the art in temperature sensors is also discussed, in terms of both monolithic integration and discrete sensor solutions. Monitoring of the electrical response of the nervous system and the delivery of stimuli represent an important family of applications for neuroscience research and neuroprosthetic devices. These will be addressed in this chapter, along with various application scenarios. Other aspects to be discussed include sensor metrics, such as sensitivity, limit of detection, stability, linear range, selectivity, and specificity.

  • Book chapter
    Kassanos P, Ip H, 2018,

    Ultra-Low Power Application-Specific Integrated Circuits for Sensing

    , Implantable Sensors and Systems: From Theory to Practice, Editors: Yang, Publisher: Springer, Pages: 281-437, ISBN: 978-3-319-69748-2

    In the quest for ever-reducing system size and increased integration and functionality, application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) technology plays a pivotal role in modern implants, where custom circuits designed at transistor and device levels are replacing off-the-shelf commercial chips and bulky benchtop systems. Recently, commercial system-on-chip (SoC) devices encompassing digital microcontrollers, radio, and analog–digital converters, as well as reconfigurable amplifier circuits, are widely available. Despite this, further development of ASIC-specific implantable systems is required, particularly in the area of multi-channel array sensor interfaces, ultra-low power data acquisition, and circuits that work with specialized micro-sensors for implants. ASICs designed to focus on a particular application have given designers the freedom to optimize power consumption for a set task, unlike general-purpose SoCs that have to cater for a wide range of applications and hence typically consume more power. In this chapter, we begin with a survey on the latest development of ASICs and related integrated systems from literature. This is followed by an overview of technological trends in integrated circuit/sensor fabrication and fusion. The rest of the chapter focuses on a number of engineering aspects related to ultra-low power ASIC circuits appropriate for implantable sensors and sensor front-ends, covering bioimpedance, neural and electrochemical sensor measurement circuits, as well as low-power analog-to-digital converter design and architectures.

  • Book chapter
    Anastasova S, Kassanos P, Yang G-Z, 2018,

    Electrochemical Sensor Designs for Biomedical Implants

    , Implantable Sensors and Systems: From Theory to Practice, Editors: Yang, Publisher: Springer, Pages: 19-98, ISBN: 978-3-319-69748-2

    The need to record directly the sensing target of interest in the vicinity of where a physiological and clinically relevant event takes place, rather than indirectly or through surrogate measures, has led to the need for implantable monitoring devices. In addition to ensuring the sensitivity and specificity of sensor responses, issues related to sensor fouling, drift, biocompatibility, and hermeticity of the packaging are important considerations. This chapter examines the current state of the art of sensing techniques, focusing on electrochemical methods (potentiometry, amperometry, and voltammetry), due to their simplicity in design and fabrication [1], as well as low-power operation.

  • Journal article
    Cameron JM, Wales DJ, Newton GN, 2018,

    Shining a light on the photo-sensitisation of organic-inorganic hybrid polyoxometalates

    , DALTON TRANSACTIONS, Vol: 47, Pages: 5120-5136, ISSN: 1477-9226
  • Journal article
    Vysniauskas A, Lopez Duarte I, Thompson AJ, Bull JA, Kuimova MKet al., 2018,

    Surface functionalisation with viscosity-sensitive BODIPY molecular rotor

    , Methods and Applications in Fluorescence, Vol: 6, ISSN: 2050-6120

    Surface functionalisation with viscosity sensitive dyes termed ‘molecular rotors’ can potentially open up new opportunities in sensing, for example for non-invasive biological viscosity imaging, in studying the effect of shear stress on lipid membranes and in cells, and in imaging contacts between surfaces upon applied pressure. We have functionalised microscope slides with BODIPY-based molecular rotor capable of viscosity sensing via its fluorescence lifetime. We have optimised functionalisation conditions and prepared the slides with the BODIPY rotor attached directly to the surface of glass slides and through polymer linkers of 5 kDa and 40 kDa in mass. The slides were characterised for their sensitivity to viscosity, and used to measure viscosity of supported lipid bilayers during photooxidation, and of giant unilamellar vesicles lying on the surface of the slide. We conclude that our functionalised slides show promise for a variety of viscosity sensing applications.

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