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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/X016765/1
Title: Lab-on-Chip Detection of Chirals by Ferrites' Field Symmetry Breaking Effects
Principal Investigator: Dimitrakis, Dr G
Other Investigators:
Wildman, Professor R
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Faculty of Engineering
Organisation: University of Nottingham
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 April 2023 Ends: 31 March 2025 Value (£): 202,475
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Analytical Science Instrumentation Eng. & Dev.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Chemicals Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
21 Jun 2022 New Horizons 2021 Full Proposal Panel Announced
23 Jun 2022 New Horizons Electronic and Electical Engineering Panel June 2022 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Molecular chirality is ubiquitous in life on earth, its importance is well established and plays a crucial role in the function of biological systems but also in many aspects of the current technological practises, related to the production of chemical and advanced materials. Unfortunately, the detection of chirals remains a complex and difficult task. This limits our understanding of fundamental natural procedures and constitutes a major technological barrier that inhibits numerous technological fields tasked with tackling the grand challenges that humanity is currently facing, including climate change, energy, food and water security. For example, green technologies mimicking natural processes i.e. use of enzymes in chemical synthesis have the potential to offer solutions to many of those problems. Enzymatic reactions mainly involve enantiomers therefore progress in this field is hindered by the lack of the appropriate tools for monitoring these reactions. This project will deliver step changes in the detection of chiral molecules by exploiting their interaction with magneto-electric fields generated by ferrites. It will develop miniaturised/portable sensors based on microwave resonant structures containing ferrites. In that way will alleviate the current need for costly, laborious preparations and difficult experimentation. It will provide the technological solutions that are necessary to facilitate on-line and in-situ monitoring of such systems and will transform current scientific and industrial practises paving the road to better understanding and optimised control of these processes. Therefore, it will underpin the future development of a vast area of applications that have the potential to tackle essential problems. The proposed project is highly innovative, ambitious and timely. It will push the boundaries of current knowledge and will develop analytical instrumentation with capabilities that are beyond what is achievable today with standard instrumentation. It will expand our current knowledge of real systems that are pertinent to biology and real life applications. It will represent a step change in portability, flexibility and speed of characterisation of enantiomers without the constant need for access to expensively equipped analytical laboratories. Following the successful development of the sensors and methodologies, current practices will be transformed and current major limitations in diverse scientific applications that utilise high throughput screening and field studies will be suitably addressed. In addition, the establishment of in-situ and online methodologies across the scales (large scale to lab on chip solutions) is expected to have a profound impact in process optimisation and control during the development and mass production of important chemicals, biochemical and advanced materials as well as broader applications including investigations on the origins of life in our planet.
Key Findings
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk