Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology


Stay connected - If you would like to keep up to date with the latest IBST news and receive information about the latest technologies and opportunities, including funding programmes, conferences and events, please email us to subscribe to IBST's free e-newsletter and e-alerts. You can also follow us on Twitter.

Tell us your news - To submit your own news item, please email us with details.


Prof Norman Ratcliffe

New milestone for prostate cancer urine diagnostic test

A research team from the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) and the University of Liverpool has reached an important milestone towards creating a urine diagnostic test for prostate cancer that could mean that invasive diagnostic procedures that men currently undergo eventually become a thing of the past.

'The use of a gas chromatography (GC)-sensor system combined with advanced statistical methods towards the diagnosis of urological malignancies', published today in the Journal of Breath Research describes a diagnostic test using a special tool to 'smell' the cancer in men's urine.

Working in collaboration with the Bristol Urological Institute team atSouthmead Hospital and Bristol Royal Infirmary the pilot study included 155 men presenting to urology clinics. 58 were diagnosed with prostate cancer, 24 with bladder cancer and 73 with haematuria or poor stream without cancer. The results of the pilot study using the GC sensor system indicate that it is able to successfully identify different patterns of volatile compounds that allow classification of urine samples from patients with urological cancers.

The research team used a gas chromatography sensor system called Odoreader® that was developed by a team led by Professor Norman Ratcliffe at UWE Bristol and by Professor Probert at Liverpool. The test involves inserting urine samples into the Odoreader® that are then measured using algorithms developed by the research team at the University of Liverpool and UWE Bristol.

Read the full press release here


Special scanner developed by UWE and Bristol firm Intercede Ventures can reduce airline fuel bills by 1%

Getting dirty can be a real drag, especially if you are an aircraft wing. This is because as dirt accumulates on the outside of an aircraft the extra friction causes increased fuel consumption. Up until now it’s been hard to easily detect when this build-up of dirt has become a problem, so often planes are not at their most aerodynamically efficient between routine washes.

To solve this, a partnership between the University of the West of England and Bristol-based concept design firm Intercede Ventures has developed a sensor using lasers, light beams and mirrors that can detect how clean an aeroplane is and therefore help major airlines reduce their carbon footprints.

Sensing success: Richard Luxton, Director of the Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology
at UWE, and Graham Mimms, Managing Director of Intercede Ventures Limited

“If we can prove a clean aircraft is a more efficient aircraft, airlines would keep them clean and as a result more environmentally friendly”

Graham Mimms, Director of Intercede, said: “A clean aircraft is a more efficient aircraft but that’s not always been too easy to prove. We thought ‘If we can prove it, airlines would keep them clean and efficient’ and as a result more environmentally friendly.” And that proof is here: it is estimated that airlines using the instrument to direct cleaning crews to problem areas could cut their fuel bills by as much as 1%. This may not sound like much, but across a major fleet will be a considerable saving.

Read the full story ...


Prof Richard Luxton invited to talk at the UK-Japan Workshop on BioSensing Technologies for the Innovative Healthcare at the British Embassy in Tokyo on December 1st – 2nd 2014.  The Embassy hopes the workshop will lay the foundation for a longer-term dialogue and future collaboration in research between the UK and Japan. The workshop will be followed by visits to the western part of Japan visiting companies in Kyoto and Kobe.

IBST Newsletter

To view the latest news or to subscribe click here Newsletter for more details.

Professor Richard Luxton, Guest Editor of Biosensors Special Issue: Magnetic Biosensors

magnetic particlesThe Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology is delighted to announce that Professor Richard Luxton is the Guest Editor of the Biosensors Special Issue journal, 'Magnetic Biosensors'. This is an Open Access journal allowing unlimited and free access to readers.

This Special Issue will be dedicated to promoting the wide range of technologies and devices that employ magnetic detection of magneto-optical effects to detect and quantitate biological targets in a sample or targets in a biological sample. Applications areas include biomedical, diagnostics, environmental analysis, food safety and biosecurity.


View the Magnetic Biosensors Special Issue website 31/01/14

Innovation 4 Growth grant scheme relaunched

South West businesses will benefit from £4m of new funding that will lead to new prodInnovation 4 Growthucts, services and jobs, as the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) relaunches its highly successful Innovation 4 Growth (I4G) programme on 7th September.

The scheme part funds research and development projects with grants of between £25,000 and £150,000 (covering up to 35% of total project costs) and is aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in any sector, with a presence in Bristol, Bath, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset or Wiltshire.

Financed through the Regional Growth Fund, the I4G programme aims to support businesses to create new, and safeguard existing, jobs through the development of innovative products, technologies, processes and services.

Completed applications must be received no later that 12pm (midday) on Wednesday, 14th October 2015.

For more information contact the I4G Team on:

Visit the Innovation 4 Growth website 24/01/14
ACTPHAST - providing support for the SME photonics community

ACTPHASTThe Zepler Institute at the University of Southampton is part of a new EU programme; the Access Center for Photonics Innovation Solutions and Technology Support (ACTPHAST) which is offering to provide up to €80k worth of innovation support to SMEs per project undertaken in the field of photonics. Support available includes access to expertise, facilities, and technology.

The photonics market – loosely defined as the science applications of light – in Europe is estimated to be worth ~ €60bn and is set to grow by up to 10% with a global market estimated to be worth ~ €480bn by 2015.

But the successful development of ideas in this market can prove difficult for a number of reasons; lack of photonic expertise, expensive R&D and investment is seen as risky.

For these reasons, ACTPHAST has been designed to offer a large scale solution by making European expert advice and technologies available to SME companies.

Call for projects will open in mid-January so to learn more now please contact Tom Carr, the UK Outreach Coordinator on

Visit the ACTPHAST website 17/01/14

Horizon 2020 launched with €15 billion over first two years

Horizon 2020 LaunchedThe European Commission has presented the first calls for projects under Horizon 2020. Worth more than €15 billion over the first two years, the funding is intended to help boost Europe's knowledge-driven economy, and tackle issues that will make a difference in people's lives.

For the first time, the Commission has indicated funding priorities over two years, providing researchers and businesses with more certainty than ever before on the direction of EU research policy. Most calls from the 2014 budget are already open for submissions as of today, with more to follow over the course of the year. Calls in the 2014 budget alone are worth around €7.8 billion, with funding focused on the three key pillars of Horizon 2020:

  • Excellent Science: Around €3 billion, including €1.7 billion for grants from the European Research Council for top scientists and €800 million for Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships for younger researchers (see MEMO/13/1123).
  • Industrial Leadership: €1.8 billion to support Europe's industrial leadership in areas like ICT, nanotechnologies, advanced manufacturing, robotics, biotechnologies and space.
  • Societal challenges: €2.8 billion for innovative projects addressing Horizon 2020's seven societal challenges, broadly: health; agriculture, maritime and bioeconomy; energy; transport; climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials; reflective societies; and security.

Find out more about Horizon 2020 10/01/14
Collaboration Nation: Technology Inspired now available via webstreaming

TSBCollaboration Nation: Technology Inspired is an inspiring event showcasing innovative technology projects and companies - winners of the Technology Strategy Board's feasibility study competition - bringing them together with 'open innovators', and the funding community to collaborate and bring new ideas to market.

You can view the on demand webstream here: 09/01/14