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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  • Journal article
    Anastasova S, SpeharDélèze A, Kwasnicki RM, Yang G, Vadgama Pet al., 2020,

    Electrochemical monitoring of subcutaneous tissue pO2 fluctuations during exercise using a semi‐implantable needle electrode

    , Electroanalysis, Vol: 32, Pages: 2393-2403, ISSN: 1040-0397

    Semi‐implantable needle oxygen electrodes were used for forearm subcutaneous monitoring in human subjects undertaking high intensity cycling and fist clenching exercise. pO2 variations in the range between 40 and 100 mm Hg oxygen were seen. Superimposed on these were paradoxical rises in subcutaneous pO2, of up to 100 mm Hg which paralleled the scale of the exercise. This was indicative of increased blood flow through skin. Triton X‐100 incorporated into the sensor polyurethane membranes helped to give faster responses and reduced the possibility of biofouling and drift. The sterilizable system, free from internal electrolyte film appears promising for future clinical monitoring.

  • Journal article
    Keshavarz M, Chowdhury AKMRH, Kassanos P, Tan B, Venkatakrishnan Ket al., 2020,

    Self-assembled N-doped Q-dot carbon nanostructures as a SERS-active biosensor with selective therapeutic functionality

    , Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, Vol: 323, Pages: 128703-128703, ISSN: 0925-4005
  • Journal article
    Li B, Tan H, Jenkins D, Srinivasa Raghavan V, Gil Rosa B, Guder F, Pan G, Yeatman E, Sharp Det al., 2020,

    Clinical detection of neurodegenerative blood biomarkers using graphene immunosensor

    , Carbon, Vol: 168, Pages: 144-162, ISSN: 0008-6223

    Accurate detection of blood biomarkers related to neurodegenerative diseases could provide a shortcut to identifying early stage patients before the onset of symptoms. The specificity, selectivity and operational requirements of the current technologies, however, preclude their use in the primary clinical setting for early detection. Graphene, an emerging 2D nanomaterial, is a promising candidate for biosensing which has the potential to meet the performance requirements and enable cost-effective, portable and rapid diagnosis. In this review, we compare graphene-based immunosensing technologies with conventional enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and cutting-edge single molecule array techniques for the detection of blood-based neurodegenerative biomarkers. We cover the progress in electrical, electrochemical and optical graphene-based immunosensors and outline the barriers that slow or prevent the adoption of this emerging technology in primary clinical settings. We also highlight the possible solutions to overcome these barriers with an outlook on the future of the promising, graphene immunosensor technology.

  • Journal article
    Gil B, Li B, Gao A, Yang G-Zet al., 2020,

    Miniaturized Piezo Force Sensor for a Medical Catheter and Implantable Device

    , ACS APPLIED ELECTRONIC MATERIALS, Vol: 2, Pages: 2669-2677, ISSN: 2637-6113
  • Journal article
    Chen C-M, Anastasova S, Zhang K, Rosa BG, Lo BPL, Assender HE, Yang G-Zet al., 2020,

    Towards wearable and flexible sensors and circuits integration for stress monitoring

    , IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, Vol: 24, Pages: 2208-2215, ISSN: 2168-2194

    Excessive stress is one of the main causes of mental illness. Long-term exposure of stress could affect one's physiological wellbeing (such as hypertension) and psychological condition (such as depression). Multisensory information such as heart rate variability (HRV) and pH can provide suitable information about mental and physical stress. This paper proposes a novel approach for stress condition monitoring using disposable flexible sensors. By integrating flexible amplifiers with a commercially available flexible polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) mechanical deformation sensor and a pH-type chemical sensor, the proposed system can detect arterial pulses from the neck and pH levels from sweat located in the back of the body. The system uses organic thin film transistor (OTFT)-based signal amplification front-end circuits with modifications to accommodate the dynamic signal ranges obtained from the sensors. The OTFTs were manufactured on a low-cost flexible polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) substrate using a coater capable of Roll-to-Roll (R2R) deposition. The proposed system can capture physiological indicators with data interrogated by Near Field Communication (NFC). The device has been successfully tested with healthy subjects, demonstrating its feasibility for real-time stress monitoring.

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