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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Research project: Biofouling control for in-situ lab-on-a-chip environmental sensors

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The aim of this PhD studentship is to test and develop antifouling methods for in-situ lab-on-a-chip marine microsensors. This will be achieved using microscopy and molecular community analysis techniques to assess the effects of several antifouling methods.

The Centre for Marine Microsystems are developing lab-on-a-chip technologies for in-situ sensing the chemical and biological nature of the world’s oceans. These sensors are to be left in the sea for periods of up to several months.

Surfaces immersed in the aquatic environment can become covered in a slime or a biofilm. Biofilms are made up of micro-organisms and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) and can have detrimental effects on the functioning of the sensors.

When biofilms grow on the surfaces it can degrade performance. It is also possible that secondary metabolites released into the water by micro-organisms may affect the reactions between reagents in the sensors.

We are developing methods of biofilm remediation using a combination of biocompatible polymers and controlled release of chemicals such as nitric oxide.

Funding:  Natural Environment Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council & the School of Biological Sciences (University of Southampton)


Related research groups

Molecular and Cellular Biosciences
Environmental Biosciences
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