My research is highly inter- or multi-disciplinary, lying in the areas of bioelectronics and biophysics, concerned with the interaction of the electric fields and fluidic suspensions of biological particles and bioelectronics. It is also concerned with the application of the physics to practical measurement and manipulation Microsystems using state of the art fabrication equipment, experimental measurement and characterisation and systems for biological purification and handling. I have also developed cell manipulation techniques for biotechnological applications with potential application to the “Lab-on-a-chip” and Micro Analysis Systems. A large focus of my research is the engineering of biomedical and biochemical analysis devices and equipment. The range of applications for this type of technology is vast, covering: healthcare and Point-of-Care technology, for revolutionising the way healthcare can be provided; biochemical lab-based analysis systems for researchers; and environmental sensors for a range of biological targets.
A major part of my research is to explain the movement of sub-micrometre particles suspended in fluid and fluids themselves under the influence of AC electric fields. Currently we are looking at:
- fundamental properties of fluids and liquids under the influence of electric fields
- the dielectrophoretic properties of non-spherical and nano-particles
- the application of dielectrophoresis to the separation of nanoparticles
- the application of electrowetting to droplet technology for bionanotechnology
- the use of advanced polymer based technology for the development of 3D electrode structures
In addition, we are looking at the technological side of separation and electric field driven micropumping for the engineering of integratable devices for Lab-on-a-Chip, MicroTAS, BioMEMs and general microfluidic systems applications. We are also looking at conducting polymer structures for 3D electrodes with applications to tissue engineering and composite materials. We are looking at continued funding for this activity.
The theoretical side of my research is a particular speciality and covers electronic device design, using numerical and analytical modelling. In addition, I am expanding more into the field of numerical simulation to look at Brownian dynamic simulations of particle movement, separation and interaction, as well as Brownian and Molecular dynamic simulations of the formation and deformation, by applied electric fields, of the Electrical Double layer at the particle/fluid and electrode/fluid interfaces. Current collaborative work is in progress with the colleagues at the University of Seville, Spain into the modelling and underlying physics of the electric field interactions a range of systems and colleagues in the departments of Electronics and Electrical Engineering at the University of Glasgow, looking at the biological aspects of this area of research. I am continuing with a recently developed collaboration with Prof Thomas Jones at the University of Rochester at the development of simple methods and models for building large scale particle based simulations of devices for design and analysis. My new PhD student his year is examining analytical and numerical methods for the use of high order field geometries for the orientation and stabilisation of non-spherical particles. This is related to some collaborative work with Prof Thomas Jones from the University of Rochester on multipole calculations using a novel method we have developed.
BSc (Hons): Mathematics and Physics (Glasgow)
PhD: Electronics and Electrical Engineering (Bioelectronics) (Glasgow)
Member of the Institute of Physics
Chairman of the Electrostatics Group of the IoP
Committee member of the Dielectrics Group