Cryptosporidium is a waterborne microorganism which causes severe diarrhoea and can be fatal for immuno-compromised individuals, infants and young children. It is estimated that Cryptosporidium contamination of drinking water results in 250-500 million cases each year in developing countries and 60,000 in the UK alone. The Cryptosporidium organism has a thick outer wall that is resistant to many conventional water treatment methods, and outbreaks are a problem even in the developed world, negatively impacting population health and economic development - daily monitoring of the water supply is required.
Current Cryptosporidium detection methods are expensive and highly time-consuming - requiring microscopic examination by skilled scientists. Furthermore, these techniques lack species and viability information, which is essential to make well-informed public health decisions. There is, therefore, a pressing need for an instrument capable of rapidly analysing drinking water samples for the presence, species and viability of Cryptosporidium microorganisms.
Usually associated with display technology, liquid crystals also have many other applications and uses. In this research project we are developing liquid crystal lasers, capable of broad wavelength-tuning, multiple simultaneous colour emissions, and highly customisable outputs, all within a small, portable and low-cost architecture. We are also seeking to integrate liquid crystal lasers into new photonic systems and applications, such as biomedical imaging (e.g. fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry), digital holographic projection, and 2D & 3D displays.
This project is all about multi-disciplinary collaboration - and capitalisation in a clinical setting of the many new vistas and opportunities that will arise. As such this research programme brings together a group of world class scientists (physicists, chemists, engineers and computer experts) and clinicians to design, make and test a cutting-edge bedside technology platform which will help doctors in the intensive care unit (ICU) make rapid and accurate diagnoses that would inform therapy and ensure patients get the right treatment, quickly. While we are developing our technology platform with a focus on ICU, it will also be applicable to a wide range of other healthcare situations.
A coordinated UK research programme delivering the materials science required for sustainable spent fuel reduction in a closed loop nuclear energy cycle. This multidisciplinary programme will deliver the critical research team and the platform technologies to enable scientific advance in related molten salt application areas together with the underpinning process development and training essential to establish and deliver these objectives.
SACSESS kicked off on 1 March 2013. This European collaborative project involves 26 partners from European universities, nuclear research bodies, TSOs and industrial stakeholders and aims to generate fundamental safety improvements on the future design of an Advanced Processing Unit.
How can we construct a high-resolution camera capable of imaging the time-of-arrival, polarisation and wavelength of each of the maximal 10Gphoton/s emitted from a labelled, biological cell?
Such a measurement would capture the complete information available in the optical signal, and significantly enhance our ability to observe the organisation, movement and interactions of cellular components at molecular scales.