Dr Pedro Estrela from the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering is the guest editor of the book "Biosensor Technologies for Detection of Biomolecules" published by the Biochemical Society and Portland Press as a volume of the journal Essays in Biochemistry.
This peer-reviewed series of themed volumes, published in print and online, is aimed at final-year undergraduates, their teachers and starting postgraduates, rather than the research community. The volume is not intended to be a textbook or to be comprehensive, rather a collection of 13 short, punchy chapters, each summarizing some of the current areas of interest, pointing to future developments and conveying the excitement of the field for the relatively inexperienced, but interested, reader.
In vitro molecular biosensors are nowadays ubiquitous in biomedical diagnosis as well as a wide range of other areas such as point-of-care monitoring of treatment and disease progression, environmental monitoring, food control, drug discovery, forensics and biomedical research. Biosensor devices require the interaction of different disciplines and rely on very distinct aspects such as study of interactions of biorecognition elements with biomolecular analytes, immobilisation of biomolecules onto solid surfaces, development of anti-fouling surface chemistries, device design and fabrication, integration of biology with the devices, microfluidics, on-chip electronics, packaging, sampling techniques, etc.
Developments in the area of biosensors rely deeply on interactions between life sciences and physical/engineering sciences, which is not always easy to achieve, in particular due to "language barriers" and the compartmentalisation of disciplines in traditional undergraduate curricula. This interaction needs to be promoted at the undergraduate and early postgraduate levels so that a common language can be learnt by the student, which will in the short and medium term lead to novel bio-(nano)technologies and devices. This volume therefore will be useful not only for biochemistry and biomedical students and their teachers but also for engineering and physics/chemistry students (and their teachers).
The 1st GW4 Biosensor Network Workshop took place at the University of Bath on the 24th March. Around 40 researchers from the 4 GW4 Universities took part with a range of interesting talks and posters. There were several networking sessions which enabled the participants to know each other, discuss ideas and possible future collaborations.
Overall a very enjoyable and productive day!
We are pleased to announce that we have received a GW4 Initiator Fund award to create a GW4 Biosensor Network.
The GW4 Biosensor Network will bring together researchers from different disciplines with an interest on biosensors. Biosensors measure chemical or biological molecules in complex samples (e.g. blood, water, air) for a wide range of applications including medical diagnosis, monitoring of therapies, personalised medicine, drug discovery and water quality control.
Inherently, biosensor research is highly interdisciplinary with integration of knowledge between engineers, physical scientists, life scientists, clinicians and other end users to accelerate innovations that are informed and fit for purpose.
We aim to push forward biosensor research with biomedical, pharmaceutical, environmental monitoring and defence applications. Through collaboration, cooperation and integration there is an opportunity to make improvements in our level of commercial and clinical interaction, the quality of published outputs, and funding success rates.
The GW4 Biosensor Network expands our Bath Biosensor Network to the Universities of Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter. We hope that this will enable establishing stronger links with our GW4 partners. A new website for the GW4 Biosensor Network will be created soon.
For details on the GW4 Biosensor Network, please contact:
University of Bath: Dr Pedro Estrela (P.Estrela@bath.ac.uk)
University of Bristol: Prof Mervyn Miles (M.J.Miles@bristol.ac.uk)
Cardiff University: Dr Niklaas Buurma (Buurma@cardiff.ac.uk)
University of Exeter: Prof Peter Winlove (C.P.Winlove@exeter.ac.uk)
The Bath Biosensor Network has launched its new website and blog. We'll be using this space to update you on our research, events and activities, and welcome your comments. We're also looking for contributors to our new blog, so do get in touch with Pedro Estrela if you have something you'd like to share.