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Title: Next generation biosensors for biophysical characterisation and detection of viruses
Author: Schlegel, K.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 2868
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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In 2015, an estimated 425 million people were chronically infected with Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Many of these infections are preventable but remain undiagnosed and entirely off the record. This is driving new technologies in the space of vaccines and diagnostics. A current bottleneck in making vaccines accessible is the ease and cost of manufacturing, which depends significantly on adequate process control technology. Major limitations of current diagnostic tools concern their speed, ease-of-use and cost. In short, there is a lack of biosensing tools which are fit for use in point-of-care settings as well as for quality control in viral vaccine manufacturing. The aim of this thesis is to explore the potential for micro- and nanotechnologies to fight infectious diseases, with a specific focus on new vaccines and mobile phone connected tests. The first chapter explores the potential of dielectrophoresis in microfluidic channels for rapid biophysical characterisation of whole virus in vaccine development. The first bioapplication of dielectrophoretic sensing based PAT and surface conduction of bovine Herpes virus is reported. The second chapter is concerned with innovative paper microfluidic diagnostics, which are inherently low cost and can be read out by a smart phone app. Capture ligands were sourced and characterised to detect acute Hepatitis B and C biomarkers as well as first key demonstrations of a new sensitivity enhancement strategy using dendrimers to detect down to low ng/ml level within 2 minutes. The third chapter evolved out of a collaboration with our industrial partner OJ-Bio and contains a proof of concept for detection of Hepatitis C biomarkers on a surface acoustic wave immunosensor. Each chapter highlights a landmark step in the development of different biosensor approaches, while also demonstrating what some of the real challenges are before they can be adopted into either clinical or industrial use. Our findings afford important insights into how these technologies can be further developed to become the next generation of biosensors, to help diagnose more people, monitor outbreaks of infectious diseases better and widen access to affordable vaccines.
Supervisor: Mukhopadhyay, T. ; McKendry, R. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available