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Knowledge Transfer, Sensors and Devices

Graphene functionalisation and biosensor device fabrication

 A collaboration between Swansea University and Cardiff University





Illustration of a graphene biosensor functionalised with bioreceptor molecules.





Graphene – a single sheet of graphite - is a “wonder material” with exceptional electronic conductivity. At Swansea we have patterned graphene nano devices with exceptionally high surface to volume ratios – which makes them extremely sensitive to surface interactions. This, combined with their excellent electronic properties, makes functionalised graphene sensors ideal for detection of biomarkers at very low concentrations. Such biosensors work by detecting binding of target biomarkers to complementary “bioreceptor” molecules attached to the graphene surface. This rapid diagnostic platform yields a real-time electrical signal and delivers a conclusive result within minutes. The sensor platform can be adapted for virtually any disease or healthcare condition, simply by changing the bioreceptor. As such, the sensors are ideal for point-of-care use in healthcare applications.



This project will improve our understanding of graphene based biosensor fabrication and the effects of chemical functionalisation on graphene electrical carrier transport properties, to enhance the sensitivity of these sensors. Sensitivity at pg/ml concentrations, or lower, opens up a huge potential number of point-of-care (POC) health diagnostic and monitoring applications, not possible using current sensor technology. The functionalisation process will then be adapted for a multi-analyte chip to detect a panel of biomarkers simultaneously. Multiplex detection  capabilities have enormous  clinical potential and offer a far more informative diagnosis.


Principal Investigator
Prof Owen Guy

T:+44(0)1792 513181

Research Assistant: Dr Kelly-Ann Walker PhD Student: Mr Ryan Bigham

Prof Owen Guy Image Prof Owen Guy Image

Graphene has an inherently high surface to volume ratio – making it ideal for ultra-sensitive biosensing applications.

Prof Philip Davies

T:+44(0)29 2087 4072

PhD Student: Mr Daniel Wotton