Skip to main content

PhD

Overview

"Functional Electrochemical Mapping of Immune Cells"

The functioning of living cells (and tissues) depends on many inter-related physicochemical processes. While some of these processes and phenomena can be probed and visualised by optical, force microscopy or electrophysiology techniques, many cannot. Moreover, optical techniques such as fluorescence rely on the use of fluorophores which may disturb the homeostatis of the cell, while even with AFM and electrophysiology (patch clamp) methods, there are concerns about perturbations to soft (living) systems. In contrast, electrochemical techniques have great potential to expand the range of bio-physicochemical processes that can be probed and visualized (often in a non-invasive way). High impact studies are appearing which demonstrate the considerable potential of electrochemical nanoprobes for measurements inside cells and near cell surfaces, where they are revealing considerable new fundamental knowledge. This potentially constitutes the start of a new field of single cell bioanalytics in which functional nanoscale probes are used to perturb (in a controlled way) and/or monitor biophysical processes in living systems in real time and with high spatial resolution. Technically, the deployment of such probes requires high spatial control of a functional sensor coupled with an ability to measure tiny current or potential signals with the highest possible time resolution. This presents an exciting challenge in instrumentation development, which can be met (and advanced) with the unique Warwick Electrochemical Scanned Probe Microscope (WEC-SPM) platform. This offers a wide range of nanoscale electrochemical techniques, and combinations thereof, which are having a high impact in a number of areas of fundamental science.

Conferences

2014

  • Inter-DTC Conference, Warwick (attended)
  • MOAC Annual Conference, Stratford-upon-Avon (talk, poster)

2015

  • 5th Annual Postgraduate Symposium on Nanotechnology, Birmingham (poster)
  • MOAC Annual Conference, Wilderhope Manor (poster)
  • 3 x Midlands LabVIEW User Group Meetings, various locations (hosted one edition at Warwick)
  • Midlands Electrochemistry Group Meeting, Warwick (attended)
  • University of Warwick Chemistry Postgraduate Symposium (attended)

2016

  • MOAC Annual Conference, Derwentwater (poster, talk)
  • 2 x Midlands LabVIEW User Group Meetings, various locations
  • University of Warwick Chemistry Postgraduate Symposium (poster prize)
  • Midlands Electrochemistry Group Meeting, Leicester (talk)
  • Surface Science Symposium, Warwick (talk, poster)