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Early detection and biosensors

This area of research focuses on the early detection and diagnosis of cancers. This allows early intervention to prevent or minimise late-stage disease.

A series of pipettes hovers above a dimple tray.
Early detection of cancers allows for earlier intervention and treatment.

Cancer researchers at Bath are developing diagnostic tools to detect cancer cells or disease-associated molecules. These include electrical biosensors and molecular sensors.

Electrical biosensors

The Centre for Biosensors, Bioelectronics and Biodevices (C3Bio) [add link] develops technologies to improve biomedical diagnosis and to understand biological functions. Their work includes biosensor development, biodevice and microfluidics design, which is combined with bioelectronics.

Research groups: Pedro Estrela, Despina Moschou (C3Bio, Department of Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering).

Molecular sensors

Small-molecule-based probes are increasingly important in detecting and imaging biological signalling molecules and enzymes. They are simple, sensitive, and highly selective. They're also non-invasive and suitable for real-time analysis of living systems. Furthermore, enzyme- and peptide-based sensors are developed to enable intracellular measurements.

Synthetic organic chemistry is used to develop these novel sensors and probes. They include fluorescent sensors, nano-particles, and enzyme or peptide-based sensors. These probes can be used in a range of different bioimaging approaches, including optical and fluorescent imaging, PET-MRI, Raman and multiphoton imaging.

Research groups: Simon Lewis, Tony James, Sofia Pascu (Department of Chemistry), Ian Eggleston, Matthew Lloyd, Banafshe Larijani (Department of Life Sciences), and Pedro Estrela (Department of Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering).

Diagnostic tools to capture cancer particles

Researchers at the University and the Royal United Hospital (RUH) Bath are developing novel technologies to detect ovarian cancer. Early detection significantly increases the survival rate in cancer patients.

However, early detection is challenging , as we often lack unique symptoms at the outset of the disease. The new screening devices will use cancer-specific particles called exosomes, to help detect ovarian cancer at its early stages.

Research groups: Sandhya Moise, Hannah Leese, and Rebecca Bowen (RUH).

Cancer prevention

Charareh Pourzand's research group is developing novel strategies to prevent skin cancers. This study area is exploring the role of antioxidants and iron chelators - chemical compounds that help remove free radicals from the body. Free radicals can be generated by UV radiation and can harm the body if their levels are become too high.

Get in touch

If you have any queries about Cancer Research at Bath, please contact Ute Jungwirth (Chair).