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External Funding

Swedish Research Council - DIABETSENSE (2016-2019)

The main objective of this project (DIABETSENSE) is to develop a new high-performance capsule-based biosensing platform to monitor simultaneously multiple metabolites for sensitive, reliable and cost-effective management and control of diabetes. Multiple metabolite detection, which relates to carbohydrate, lipid and protein metabolism, as well as to insulin resistance, allows tracking of the insulin metabolism of diabetes patients at multiple metabolic levels. Combining this information with other patient data using advanced multi-factorial algorithms will improve the reliability and accuracy of diabetes management and reduce short- and long-term complications. The DIABETSENS will explore a new bioanalytical approach based on novel micro/nano-scaled capsule-based biosensors.The biosensors will be formulated into new biofunctionalised inks, which can be adapted for printing to create the sensing elements for stable, cost-effective and high-performance printable electronic biosensors. We will further explore the concept of fully-printable electrochemical instruments on flexible substrates. These will be combined with non-invasive sampling and near-field communication for use as wearable skin patches for the detection of multiple metabolites. The approach will pave the way for a range of other metabolomic biosensors for improved diagnosis and decentralised self-management of metabolic diseases.

The Swedish Research Council - International collaboration grant (VR) 2015-2018

Dengue Screen: Point-of-care µTAS for sensitive and rapid detection of dengue

This bilateral international collaboration between Martin Mak (LiU) and Dr. Nordin (International Islamic University, Malaysia) is to develop a new inexpensive biosensor for dengue virus for cost effective management and control of dengue in low and middle income countries, where the access to resources and infrastructure is limited. The latest figures from the Malaysia health authority shows a dramatic four-fold increase in dengue cases reported accompanied by a three-fold increase in the number of deaths in the first quarter of 2014. This is a global threat affecting not only local citizens in dengue hot spots, but also billions of international travelers. The Dengue-Screen project also strengthens the established collaboration between our two universities and will facilitate future joint funding applications.

The Swedish Scientific Research Council "Patho-Screen" project 2014-2017

Vetenskapsrädet founded (2014-2017) the "Patho-Screen" project under its “Swedish research Links” program (Avtals-ID: D0675001)

Patho-Screen (“Electrochemical aptasensors for the rapid screening of pathogens in environmental and food samples”), is a collaborative project between the Linköping University and the Istanbul Kemerburgaz University (Istanbul, Turkey), aiming the development of aptamer-based electrochemical biosensors for the rapid, on-site and cost-effective screening of pathogens (Salmonella typhimurium and E. Coli) in food and environmental samples.

Detection of food pathogens is a particular relevant issue in fast growing country, as Turkey, where the concentration of citizens in large urban areas makes the incidence of pathogens associated problem extremely high. Furthermore the development of such screening tools is extremely important in countries with limited access to resources and/or infrastructures (laboratories). 

Patho-Screen project will also be a platform to allow the strengthening of the collaboration between the two partner Universities in the vision of future exchanges of students, researchers, knowledge and in the preparation of joint founding applications.

FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IEF Marie Curie Action: "International European Fellowships"

Molecularly Imprinted Nanofibres for Tissue Engineering, Affinity Depletion and Biosensor Applications “MIFs4BioMed” 2014-2016

The design and synthesis of biomimetic functional polymers, using polymerisable derivatives of biomolecules for molecular imprinting, offers exciting potential advantages over conventional biomaterials with respect to reusability, stability, shelf-life, chemical and physical resistance, and ease of preparation. This polymerisation technique can be described as oriented polymerisation of functional monomers around the target molecules of interest to create well-matched specific recognition cavities. In our initial work, we have created molecularly imprinted hydrogels for protein chromatography as a tool for isolating interfering molecules. We are now exploring imprinted electrospun nanofibres with applications in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, drug release, affinity chromatography and biosensors. 

SBRI (UK) Biosensors for chronic kidney disease 2014-2016

Following a successful six month feasibility study, carried out by Tony Turner, Martin Mak and Valerio Beni in collaboration with IF-Sensing Ltd. (UK), the next phase of funding has been granted by the UK Technology Strategy Board to investigate, develop and scale-up novel biosensors for the detection and management of chronic kidney disease. The study exceeded its initial objectives and delivered a working prototype for one key analyte. This provided the basis for a successful application for Phase II funding from the UK Government and an expanded programme commenced in 2015.

EU IRSES, Smart Cancersens Pirses-GA-2012-318053 2012-2016

Oncologists still rely heavily on biological characterisation of tumours and a limited number of biomarkers which have demonstrated clinical utility. Routine cancer diagnostic tools may not be always sensitive enough and may only detect proteins at levels corresponding to an advanced stage of the disease. Recently, new genomic and proteomic molecular tools (molecular signatures) are being employed, which include genetic and epigenetic signatures, changes in gene expression, protein profiles and post-translational modification of proteins. Such advanced diagnostic tools are not always readily adapted to clinical cancer screening due to their complexity, costs and the requirement for highly-qualified operators. Novel bioanalytical methodologies for detection of specific biomarkers/ biomolecules, based on nanostructured electronic sensors (rapid, sensitive devices capable of miniaturisation and deployment on site or in small clinics), fulfil the necessary requirements and have the potential to compliment time and labour consuming clinical analysers used in medical laboratories currently. The primary objective of this 4-year programme, therefore, is to gather together an international and interdisciplinary consortium of ten research teams from EU Member States, Third (including ENP) countries with EU agreements on S&T, in order to share and jointly exploit knowledge and expertise in the development of micro/nanosensors as tools in early cancer diagnosis. A key scientific target is the realisation of intelligent electronic devices which respond to biomolecules such as formaldehyde, amines, metal ions, saccharides, activities of amine oxidases, arginase and glutathione-S-transferase. This will entail design, development and characterisation of nano-scale transducers suitable for testing in clinical samples.

Marie Sklodowska Curie Action Innovative Training Network MICACT (2015-2018)

We have secured a MSCA Innovative Training Network in the area of electroactive polymer microactuators. LiU will host 2 PhD students who commence work in Spring 2015.

Innovationbron, Stress Monitoring, Project 900394 and New Tools for Health

This project is exploring the commercialisation of a biosensor device to monitor physiological stress. Salivary Amylase has been correlated as a physiological stress marker and furnishes the opportunity to develop a range of clinical tools to improve patient care and quality of life at reduced cost.

MPNS COST action MP1003 European Scientific Network for Artificial Muscles

ESNAM is primarily aimed at fostering scientific and technological advancement of artificial muscles and muscle-like transducers, based on Electromechanically Active Polymers (EAPs) as smart materials for electromechanical transduction (actuation, sensing and energy harvesting). The network is established among leading European research institutes and industries with consolidated and recognised expertise in this field, as well as in possible areas of application.

In order to improve progress in the broad field of EAP science and technologies, and their applications, the objectives of ESNAM include amongst others:

  • coordination and promotion of joint research projects;
  • classification, organization and dissemination of scientific and technical knowledge;
  • standardisation of methods, techniques and processes;
  • scientific training and support of early-stage researchers;
  • creation of a platform facilitating collaboration among research centres and companies;
  • definition of a road-map targeting wide-spread industrial use of EAP based artificial muscles in Europe.

COST action MP1206 “Electrospinning”

Electrospinning, an electro-hydrodynamic process is a versatile and promising platform technology for the production of electrospun nanofibrous materials consisting of diverse polymers and polymer composites. This platform process can provide bio- or oil based polymer nanofibrous materials for the fabrication of innovative biomedical devices and for the fabrication of new technical applications. By forming an interdisciplinary knowledge platform the COST Action will strengthen the European R&TD on electrospun nanofibrous materials and nanofibrous composites and will generate fast progress in the state of the art. The COST Action will cover scientific breakthroughs and innovations in the electrospinning process itself, nanofibrous materials and nanofibrous composite advancements and the post treatment processing of electrospun materials. Applications in the biomedical and technical fields as well as health, societal and environmental issues are considered. The main outcome of the Action will be:

  • New integrated methodologies for designing and producing electrospinning nanofibres
  • Databases of application-relevant electrospun nanofibre properties
  • An up to date knowledge base on electrospun nanofibres and its applications
  • Tutorial material for training young researchers entering the field

Completed Projects

Carl Trygger Foundation 2013-2015

Under this grant we are continued our development of new actuator hybrid materials comprising carbide derived carbon as well as new actuator geometries. Our Carl Trygger project received a second-year extension with Dr. Ali Maziz continuing the work of Dr Janno Torop.

Swedish Research Council (2011-2015) - Intelligent nanobioreactors for auto-switchable bio-catalysis

This 4-year programme is studied the design and development of novel auto-switchable nanobioreactors to produce positively responding nano-surfaces by creating unique "zipper" nanoarchitectures. The zipper consists of a polymeric donor branch and a polymeric receptor branch, which are being rationally assembled based in a stoichiometric donor-receptor interaction. Model reactions, with applications in both analysis (e.g. biosensors) and energy production, (e.g. biological fuel cells) are being studied as proof-of-principle platforms in the areas of bioanalysis and biocatalysis.

FP7-PEOPLE-2009-IIF Marie Curie Action: "International Incoming Fellowships" Stimuli-responsive Zipper-like Nanobioreactors 2011-2013

This nanobioreactor research was focussed on the fabrication of simple-to-use, inexpensive and ultra-sensitive devices which are highly selective, sensitive and stable. Thus, the fundamental goal of this research project was to design, develop and verify a novel bioreactor with self-control abilities for advanced applications (e.g. switchable bio-catalysis) utilising nanotechnology. Stimuli-responsive nanomaterials were designed to construct zipper-like nanobioreactors, which result in: (i) ease of preparation; (ii) auto-switchable structures connected with external stimuli; (iii) fast responsive/sensing times; (iv) high selectivity and sensitivity; (v) excellent storage stability; and (vi) cost-effectiveness. In addition, the project has developed some other novel methodologies and application strategies, which include molecular self-assembly, monitoring of dynamic phase transition and bio-catalytic analysis and characterisations.

CMST COST Action TD1003 Bioinspired nanotechnologies: from concepts to applications 2010-2014

Nature has an extraordinary ability to assemble complex nanostructures that have specialised tasks. Our own capacity to do so and therefore the potential to produce and use features with nanometer scale is still limited. Development of such opportunities is an important goal for nanotechnology and materials science. As an example, DNA appears to be an attractive tool for nano-science and - technology. Base pairs of DNA can be translated into binary sequences for organising nanomaterials in a prescribed manner. DNA can be used to control the position and the bonding between molecules and materials in complex design structures. Other examples are related to the use of cells, viruses and organelles for the production of materials, surface modification and more. The present COST initiative is designed to use bio-inspired materials far beyond just a "proof-of-concept stage to accelerate the combination of" top-down and bottom-up "production of new functional components to be used for new development in medicine and health, energy, environment, micro-electronic nano-systems (Moore's Law now faces its first both physical and theoretical constraints). This approach paves the way to manufacture complex (molecular) nanostructures, to address them and integrate them into a functional component. A success in such a multi-science initiative requires consortia of a size and expertise that far exceeds what is possible at the national level. European consortia are necessary to quickly achieve the desired objectives. 

Swedish Institute

There is ever increasing demand for fast and sensitive methods for the determination of various analytes present in biological liquids and foods. Biosensors are one of the most suitable devices to deliver the required analyses due to their selectivity, fast response, portability and low cost. This project is developing novel electroanalytical systems for determination of cholesterol, based on Prussian Blue nano-scaled films on screen-printed electrodes. Stabilisation of Prussian Blue-modified electrodes is being achieved within polymeric/sol-gel membranes for operation in water-organic mixtures with high content of organic solvent.

Vinnova 2011-2013

The project Robust & Indiviuell IT för gråa pantrar is seeking to develop and demonstrate a system that can detect and warn of accidents or precursors of accidents in the home environment, through early detection coupled with a decision support system, sending an alert with information about the situation to an auxiliary instance. 

The project is motivated mainly by the aging population in Sweden. It leads to both increased costs to society and greater demands on health professionals. A detection system would allow older people to continue living in their homes longer with increased/maintained security. The system could also be used in nursing homes and hospitals to help the staff. 

In recent years, major technological advances are made in wireless communications; miniaturization of biosensors and new "smart" multifunctional materials, at the same time as computing power has increased. All these areas are well represented in terms of competence within Swedish UoH, research institutes and industry. However, the areas have developed more or less independently of each other. The technology has now matured and a growing number of products on the market can be integrated with each other. There are no comprehensive solutions available today, but many products

as security alarms, GPS to find lost people, digital pill boxes and glued on biosensors ("fake tattoos") is now technically advanced.

Robust & Individuell IT för gråa pantrar developed a concept for integration of sensors in a Body Area Network, (BAN) used to detect abnormalities. When an anomaly is detected the intended system must pay attention to this. The project focus has been on the inventory of potential technologies to be integrated into the proposed system.

Responsible for this page: Martin Wing Cheung Mak
Last updated: 02/10/16