Sensors and Diagnostics

Theme leader: Professor Justin Gooding, University of New South Wales

Diagnosis is the key to both the prevention and treatment of diseases. Traditionally diagnoses are performed in centralised pathology laboratories. Centralised laboratories are still, and will remain, robust methodologies in biomedical diagnostics. However, increasingly there is a move towards diagnostic tools that can be used at home, in community clinics, in the hospital or even during surgery. Decentralised diagnostic devices have enormous potential for early disease diagnosis and the measurement of the efficacy of treatment strategies.

The goal of the Sensors and Diagnostics theme is to develop technologies for detecting ultralow amounts of analyte that provide robust analytical information in a reasonable response time. The main application goals of the CBNS are to develop technologies for biomarkers and methods for the isolation and measurement of single cells.

Current areas of activity in the Sensors and diagnostics theme are:

  • new materials for sensing;
  • new measurement methodologies;
  • the rapid and accurate detection in complex samples; and
  • minimally invasive sampling and measurements performed in vivo. 

Image: A new approach to developing electrochemical arrays for multianalyte sensing electrochemistry, called light activated electrochemistry, which uses light to connect to any location on a monolithic surface so that electrochemistry is only observed at the site of illumination. This new technology allows high density electrode arrays to be formed with only a single metallic connecting wire. Illustrated here for the detection of nucleic acids such as DNA or microRNA.
Image courtesy of Kate Patterson.

CBNS Annual Reports provide details of the various activities within the Sensors and diagnostics theme.