Research Areas

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Smart Chemical Sensors

We are interested in the development of various chemical sensors that allow for the stable and reproducible monitoring of important molecules that play key roles biological and clinical sciences. We are specifically interested in creating various manifolds of sensors that can be tailored to a variety of environments (see examples below. Within the group we have developed microelectrode arrays, needle-type sensors, flexible microelectrodes, moldable sensors and biosensors for the detection of a host of important biological chemicals.

sensors


Understanding intestinal mucosal signalling mechanism

The gastrointestinal tract is responsible for a wide range of functions: motility, secretion, digestion, adsorption and regulation. These processes require a fine tuned enteric nervous system (ENS), which is often known as the second brain in the body. We are interested in understanding the spatial and temporal dynamics behind the mucosal signalling mechanism and how it relates to the variety of GI functions. We are fusing novel analytical approaches with traditional functional assays to gain more insight in the physiology of the digestive system. At present we have focused on how signalling can be altered during age, how this related to colonic motility and can be altered in intestinal disorders.

Gut


Understanding age-related changes in neurochemical signalling

Ageing is going to be a major problem in the coming years with a greater degree of the population requiring healthcare support due to increase morbidity in our elderly. One area of significance is the changes in neurochemical signalling with age, as this can have a profound effect in a variety of biological areas, such as the brain and the digestive system. Using novel isolated neurons and cell lines, we are interested in understanding how transmitter release is altered during age and if this process can be reduced or prevented

Ageing

 


Analytical devices for drug  monitoring and to aid patient safety

Errors in intravenous medication are common and drug preparation and administration has been identified as one of the steps where errors are more frequent. Errors in medicine preparation can lead to significant risk for the patient and thus novel tools are needed to assist the healthcare professionals. We are keen to develop and utilise analytical tools to aid in therapeutic monitoring of key drugs used in neonatal and pediatric wards to ensure accurate administration of medication.

Medicines