Professor Paul Millner

Profile

  • Postdoctoral work at Purdue University, Indiana USA and Imperial College, London.
  • Appointed Lecturer 1986
  • Senior Lecturer 1993
  • Reader 2006
  • Professor 2009

Research interests

  • Nano-scale enginering of surfaces for biosensor applications
  • targeted nanopartciles for imaging and drug delivery
  • lanthanide nanocomposites
  • photosensitizer loaded nanofibres for bioremediation
  • bio-affinity systems

Reagentless Electrochemical Biosensors:

 

We have developed a new reagentless immunosensor platform which allows highly sensitive single step measurement of a wide range of substances, based on affinity immobilisation of tagged antibodies to self assembled mixed monolayers (Fig. 1) or to electropolymerised polyaniline layers (EC Project ELISHA - see www.immunosensors.com). Immunosensors for antibiotics, herbicides, cardiac, cancer and neurodegenerative disease markers have been developed, viruses and bacteria. Sensors for host biomarkers of bacterail and viral infection are are also being developed. The biorecognition element can be an antibody or fragment but increasingly are Affimers, (synthetic binding proteins developed by the McPherson & Tomlinson groups at Leeds). In particular, we are interested in the nanoscale structure of the sensor surface and how this influences the impedance signals observed.

Paul Millner

 

Nanoparticle and microparticles:
Work is ongoing to develop nanoparticles of various compositions as enzyme for applications in biosensing, bioimaging and targeted drug delivery. Biosilicate nanoparticles of defined dimensions and biosilicate surface coating have been produced which can entrap and/or stabilise commercially interesting enzymes (EC Project SANTS - www.sants-nanosilicates.com). More recently, we have shown that antibody or Affimer functionalised nanoparticles are able to locate to cancer tissue in vivo  and we are currently colalborating with Dr Arwen Tyler (Food Science) to develop Affimer targeted lipidic nanopartciles capable of delivering hydrophobic anticancer agents directly to cancer tissue. Finally a novel nanobiosensor platform which uses lanathanide nanocomposite up conversion nanoparticles (UCNP) is being optimised; replacement of the complete ELISA protocol with a single addition is possible.

Photosensitized nanofibres:

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) is produced when photosensitizers are illuminated with visible light and is highly toxid to viruses and bacteria. This offer the prospect of simple low-tech sunlight drive water sterilisation. By immobilising canioic photosensitizers onto nanofibre mats a simple steriling surface can be fabricated which might provide easy access to safe drinling and cooking water in regions with poor sanitaion and infratructure, or alternatively might provide lowered energy input for sanitising "grey water" within more developed countries.   

Spinout activites: Prof Millner and Dr Tim Gibson/Dr Graham Johnson created the spinout ELISHA Systems Ltd (www.immunosensors.com)at the end of Framwork 6 Project ELISHA. ELISHA Systems Ltd works to translate electrochemical affinity biosensors into a commercial offering. Patent applications for ELISHA technolohgy are currently in process.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://biologicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Qualifications

  • BSc, PhD Feb 1979, Leeds

Student education

Undergraduate project topics:

  • Fast electrical interrogation of biosensors
    Keywords: Biosensor, electrode, quartz crystal microbalance (QCM), nanotechnology (Laboratory)
  • Application of functionalised nanoparticles for biosensing and intraoperative cancer imaging
    Keywords: nanoparticle synthesis, size measurement, antibody, nanotechnology (Laboratory)
  • Fabrication of photosensitizer loaded nanostructured surfaces for microbial and chemical water pollutant cleanup.
    Keywords: electrospun nanofibres, metal oxide nanorods, photosensitizers, nanotechnology (Laboratory)

Postgraduate studentship areas:

  • Affinity biosensors for medical, food and envronmental analyses
  • Molecular mechanisms underlying impedance biosensor signal generation
  • Application of functionalised nanoparticles for biosensing and cancer imaging
  • fabrication of very high area surfaces and their application to photosensitized water cleanup

See also:

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://biologicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/research-opportunities">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>