Sensors and Connected Health

imageThis cluster is managed by Professor McLaughlin and it is strongly underpinned by materials and device expertise by Professor Maguire.

Sensors: NIBEC's major sensor research activity for the past 25 years is in the area of 'Point of Care' and 'Vital Signs Patient Monitoring', developing a wide range of electrode-based and sensor monitoring devices for a plethora of healthcare needs.

Current research is centred on optimising the immobilisation and sensing techniques for high reliability, accuracy and repeatability POC systems. This group encompasses areas of study that include: sensor design for a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic applications, including astronaut monitoring systems, sensor-telemetry integration, wound-monitoring and accelerated wound-healing, e-nose, neural stimulation, nano-interdigitised electrodes and micro-fluidic fabrication, cardiac mapping, micro-optical sensing (Raman and SPR), implantable sensors and immobilization of bio-selective proteins.

imageThe sensors activity has led to a range of collaborations in France (INSERM, INSA, CNRS Lyons), throughout the EU (Neuropro, Microtrans, Microcard), in the USA (University of Illinois), Ulster-IIT Mumbai-UKERI microfluidics project and Ireland (DCU-Higher Education Authority-ROI). A Department of Education and Learning (NI) £2M Cross Border project has enhanced capability within the area of point of care. Other funding sources such as EPSRC, NSF, INI, DOH, EU, SFI etc have led to a fully integrated sensors capability. In particular the cluster has a history of transferring technology to industry and set up spin out companies.

imageConnected Health: This activity studies the future models for healthcare delivery that will use technology to provide and improve healthcare remotely. This research aims to maximise healthcare resources and provide increased, flexible opportunities for consumers to engage with clinicians and better self-manage their care. It uses technology such as; communication systems (mobile phones, internet, short and long range RF links); integrated sensors; embedded software; energy harvesting etc., and often leveraging readily available consumer technologies, to deliver patient-care outside of the hospital or in the home or doctor's office. Research at NIBEC encompasses programs in telehealth, patient monitoring, remote care (such as home care) and disease and lifestyle management and is associated with efforts to improve chronic care.

imageOn a more applied scale the group has tele-monitoring capability (the smart ward and the smart GP surgery). Within these facilities, interoperability, wireless optimisation, location tracking and pre-clinical trials are under development. The group has also specialised in the miniaturisation of sensing devices with the capability to produce system-on-chip solutions, rapid proto-typing (mechanical and electronics), microfluidics, with a strong focus on the use of embedded software and integrated microprocessor & telemetry hardware (Wi-Fi, Zigbee and Bluetooth). In summary the main focused areas include:

  • Point of Care Sensors, Microfluidics and Devices
  • Vital Signs Monitoring, electrodes (IDE and surface) and optical sensing
  • Healtcare Sensor Systems
  • Electronic Nose gas sensing
  • Early Warning Systems: Smart Embedded Systems and Smart Algorithms
  • Mobile and Wireless Health


Related Academic Staff

  • Professor Jim McLaughlin (Healthcare Sensor Systems, Devices and Materials)
  • Professor Paul Maguire (Gas Sensing and large data analytics)
  • Professor James Davis (Chemical and Biosensors)
  • Professor Brian Meenan (MATCH; Economic Assessment of CH)
  • Professor Pagona Papakonstantinou (Nano- sensing materials)
  • Dr Tony Byrne (Electrochemical Sensors)
  • Dr Patrick Dunlop (Biological Sensors)
  • Mr. Stephen McComb (CHIC)
  • Dr. Adrian Boyd (Remote Optical Sensing)
  • Dr. George Burke (Bioanlytical Sensing)
  • Dr. Alan Brown (Microfluidic Systems)
  • Dr Patrick Lemoine (Micro-Mechanical Sensors)
  • Dr. Davide Mariotti (Microplasma sensing)
  • Dr. Dorian Dixon (Bio-Active Polymeric Sensing)


Research Fellows / Assocaites

  • Dr. Mark Tweedie (Microfluidics and Point of Care)
  • Dr. Charlie Mahony (Gas Sensing and data analysis)
  • Mr. Francis Fitzgibbons (MATCH: CH analytics)
  • Dr. Shirley Davis (EU Connected HealthThematic Lead Coordinator)
  • Dr. Dan Sun (Medical Electrodes)
  • Dr. Jeremy Hamilton (Point of Care devices)




Engineering Futures and Dr Steve Myers Talk

Monday 23rd of February 2015

Engineering Futures and Dr Steve Myers Talk

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Tuesday 10th of February 2015

Inaugural Professorial Lecture by Tony Byrne, Professor of Photocatalysis

Inaugural Professorial Lecture by Tony Byrne, Professor of Photocatalysis

When & where Wednesday, 22 October 2014 18:30 at the Jordanstown campus Lecture Theatre 9F03

NIBEC Lecture Series begins in mid - October