Dr Bhavik Patel, Senior Lecturer in the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, collected the 2013 GlaxoSmithKline Emerging Scientist Award, which is presented annually to scientists from around the world who have demonstrated significant practical application of knowledge within the pharmaceutical sciences over the last five years.
The winner is chosen by senior staff from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the work judged on scientific quality and the actual or future impact in biomedicine.
Dr Patel's award is recognition of his developments in simple and applicable sensor technology. His research group has developed sensor tools that have been used to monitor a range of biological analytes and have led to new insight in biological processes and clinical pharmacy.
Dr Patel receiving his award from Jo Craig (Vice President, GlaxoSmithKline) at the UKPharmSci 2013 meeting. Image: APS GB
Dr Patel, who has used funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Royal Society for his pioneering work, delivered his award lecture at the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences UKPharmSci 2103 conference.
He said: "It has been a great honour to accept such as prestigious award which recognises the hard work of my research group over the past few years. We have made various sensor devices which have offered realistic practical options for measurements in a range of areas, and we are committed to simple solutions for biological and clinical monitoring that can have a significant impact to our lifestyles."
Dr Patel's approach to electrochemical sensor fabrication provided the means to create mouldable and flexible electrodes, which allow for the ability to incorporate sensors into environments which, to date, have not been investigated. These developments, he said, are invaluable and have significant impact to conduct real-time monitoring in sectors such as the environment and healthcare.
The various sensor types fabricated from moudable polymeric composite electrodes, microelectrodes to microelectrode arrays.
Dr Patel said the group makes sensors for various geometries and shapes from the very small to extremely large, depending on the application: "We have the ability to maximise the use of various conductive materials when they are incorporated into a variety of insulate materials like polymers, which means we have scope to make sensors that can be used to monitor tissue right through to devices that can be incorporated into industrial pipelines."
He said the group has had significant interest around the world from academic groups interested in implementing devices to their studies, and from major healthcare companies.
Dr Patel said: "It is our ambition that our sensors devices will, within five to ten years, have considerable impact on improving patient safety and clinical decision-making in our healthcare system."