Biophotonics and sensing

Image of a brain cellSensor technology is an important enabler in modern society for detecting, monitoring and managing phenomena in our natural and built environments. This is evident in the need for detection of trace toxic analytes and explosive gases for public safety and security, healthcare, transportation, industrial processes and monitoring of environmental pollution and air quality. A revolutionising technological trend is the rapid growth of mobile sensors for personalised health evaluation, environmental monitoring, robotics and security. Portable gas sensors are of critical importance for the detection of air pollutants, greenhouse gases and chronic or disease-related biomarkers in human breath such as NH3, NO2, CO2, CO, CH4 and volatile organic compounds (VoCs). Low power requirement is essential for long term operation of these mobile sensors providing real-time data about ambient air quality.

In the emerging fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology, gas sensors can be embedded in nodes for the Internet-of-Things applications or in mobile systems (such as smart phones, robotics and Unmanned Vehicles) for continuous monitoring of air pollutants and greenhouse gases. These gases occur in many environments and even in trace amounts, are key indicators of human, animal, plant or environmental health.

Current research at Swinburne is based on new technologies to develop inexpensive, reliable, portable gas sensors with ultra-low power requirements for applications in environmental and health monitoring. We combine state-of-the-art developments in nanotechnology and sensing to utilise novel nanomaterials with unique properties suited to different sensing platform including conductometric and capacitive technologies. 

We combine our expertise in physics and engineering to address challenges in monitoring, characterising and controlling biological processes. Our work covers a wide range of length scales, from sub-cellular to tissue, and timeframes, from seconds to years. In particular,  we use light as a  mean to probe biological systems, from traditional microscopy techniques, through to emerging