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Healthcare technologies – diagnostics

Research Healthcare technologies - diagnostics with The Open University

Our research into diagnostics incorporates analytical sciences with strong applications in the field of biomedical sciences and health. It is our aim through our work, and our extensive network of collaborations with academics in different disciplines, clinicians and industrial partners, to develop technology which has the potential to be of direct benefit to patients; assisting with the detection, monitoring and treatment of disease.

Key themes of our research include:

  • Biomarker identification, focusing on research into the biomarker profiles of disease states and development of methods to improve accurate biomarker detection in complex samples
  • Diagnostics for cancer, focusing on novel technologies for detecting, imaging and targeting of cancer cells
  • Sensor and biosensor development, focusing on the development and refinement of technologies for the rapid and non-invasive diagnosis of disease

Qualifications available:

MPhil or PhD


For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) or an appropriate first degree and postgraduate qualification

Potential research projects

  • Diagnosis of melanoma using mass spectrometry: comparison with sniffer dogs used for cancer detection
  • Development of toxin/drug-specific biosensors using artificial recognition methods
  • Development of novel in-situ diagnostic agents and their application to drug toxicity assays

Current/recent research projects

  • Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometry and breath analysis for disease diagnosis and monitoring
  • Is food intolerance a factor causing Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura?
  • Development and analysis of recognition polymers for chemical and biological diagnostic applications
  • Multi-functional labels for parallel analysis and characterisation of carbohydrate biomarkers
  • Analysis and identification of nucleic acids by mass spectrometry

Potential supervisors

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Administrative support
+44 (0)1908 655808

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.