Faculty of Medical Sciences

Staff Profile

Professor Calum McNeil

Professor of Biological Sensor Systems


Research Interests

The work of the Diagnostic & Therapeutic Technologies Research Group (D&TT) is targeted towards Healthcare Engineering, Science and Technology. The overall aim is to improve rapid clinical diagnostic technologies and to engineer technological approaches which can help to elucidate the molecular pathways that cause degenerative diseases.  This work involves the design and development of highly specific 'bioelectronic' interfaces between inorganic surfaces and biological species (antibodies, microbial cells, enzymes and redox proteins) and has led to the production of a number of electrochemical, optical and microelectromechanical sensor systems capable of the direct, rapid measurement of biological and chemical species in complex matrices. The current research programmes being carried out by the D&TT group can be broadly defined in three inter-related, multi-disciplinary areas. These are:

  1. Development of sensors for rapid, specific identification of bacterial infection and AMR based on electrical impedance, optoelectronic and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).  - Collaboration with Dr Neil Keegan.
  2. Development of near-patient technology platforms for rapid, quantitative immunometric measurement of biochemical markers of disease and their use in remote monitoring and management of chronic diseases.
  3. Development of multi-analyte sensor array platforms for direct, simultaneous intra- and extra-cellular monitoring of reactive oxygen species and the application of these to understanding related biochemical mechanisms involved in neurological disease processes. - Collaboration with Dr Phil Manning.

Our work has been highlighted in a number of public engagement and outreach activities including producing news items and videos aimed at public education of the D&TT vision of successful outcomes of collaborative multi-disciplinary research and also using social media to highlight achievements.

Current Major Research Funding

Early-Warning Sensing Systems for Infectious Diseases (i-sense): EPSRC IRC (£11.1M, Oct 2013 - Sept 2019).

Personal Risk Assessment in Febrile Illness to Optimize Real-life Management Across the EU (PERFORM): EC H2020 (Jan 2016 - Dec 2020).

Ultra-Sensitive Enhanced Nano-Sensing of Antimicrobial Resistance (u-Sense): EPSRC IRC Plus Project (£1.39M, Oct 2018 - Sept 2022).