Primary Department
School of Chemical Sciences
Academic staff - Analytical Chemistry
Phone number: 01 700
Glasnevin Campus
Room Number

Academic biography

Established in the field of electroanalytical device development for environmental and biomedical sensing applications. Background in conducting polymer materials for analytical biosensing applications extending to microfluidics and whole device system development.  Expertise in broader functional materials including stimuli-responsive materials giving improved performances due to nano-structuring, chemical functionalisation and mechanical properties.Current application focus is in wearable platforms, specifically epidermal sensing. Active research in understanding the volatile emission for the skin for translating into wearable biochemical sensing platforms. Sensor development approach based on materials including electrically-responsive hydrogels for integration with skin and functionalised magnetic nanomaterials for biomarker capture from tissue.Published >60 peer-reviewed research papers, 8 review papers, 1 edited book, 3 book chapters. (h-Index: 23; citations>2500).

Research interests

Analytical and Materials Chemistry Electroanalytical devices for environmental and biomedical sensing applications Stimuli-responsive materials characterisation and application Electro-responsive architectures in chromatography, sensing and drug delivery Epidermal sensing
Recent Publication Highlights

Robust epidermal tattoo electrode platform for skin physiology monitoring
DOI: 10.1039/C8AY02678E (Paper) Anal. Methods, 2019, Advance Article
An epidermal tattoo sensing platform comprising silver-based electrodes for direct skin physiology monitoring is reported here. The platform uses an assembly of screen-printed elastomeric silver electrodes interfaced with a porous acrylate-based adhesive layer. The elastomeric nature of the electrodes and the inclusion of the porous adhesive layer were demonstrated to improve adhesion strength, lower stiffness and increase fracture strain of the platform. The porous adhesive layer in particular was shown to improve mechanical properties of the platform without impacting on the electrical measurement of viable tissue resistance (Rvt) by the electrodes. Rvt values as measured by the wearable tattoo platform were shown to correlate with tissue dielectric constant (TDC) measurements in a participant study. Topical treatment studies were also carried out whereby single frequency impedance responses of the electrodes was shown to relate to the absorption characteristics of the treatment into the skin. Overall, the work contributes to the area of epidermal sensing and electronics whereby approaches to achieve optimum mechanical properties as well as good electrical fidelity in an epidermal sensor platform are critical to developing wearable sensors for taking robust analytical measurements related to skin physiology.

Endogenous and microbial volatile organic compounds in cutaneous health and disease
2018 TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trac.2018.12.012
Human skin is a region of high metabolic activity where a rich variety of biomarkers are secreted from the stratum corneum. The skin is a constant source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) derived from skin glands and resident microbiota. Skin VOCs contain the footprints of cellular activities and thus offer unique insights into the intricate processes of cutaneous physiology. This review examines the growing body of research on skin VOC markers as they relate to skin physiology, whereby variations in skin-intrinsic and microbial metabolic processes give rise to unique volatile profiles. Emerging evidence for volatile biomarkers linked to skin perturbations and skin cancer are examined. Microbial-derived VOCs are also investigated as prospective diagnostic markers, and their potential to shape the composition of the local skin microbiota, and consequently cutaneous health, is considered. Finally, a brief outlook on emerging analytical challenges and opportunities for skin VOC-based research and diagnostics is presented.

Screen-printed Tattoo Sensor towards the Non-invasive Assessment of the Skin Barrier
2017 Electroanalysis. DOI:10.1002/elan.201600572
The development and characterisation of a screen-printed tatt