Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology

IBST is an initiative of UWE, Bristol


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IBST is a member of Medilink South West, the region’s life science industry network.


IBST is a member of the Health & Life Sciences Sector Group.

Our purpose is to engage with local life sciences, health and social care organisations to explore areas that could be developed to promote the health and life sciences business sector in the West of England LEP region.

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Vapour sensing

Vapour sensing Electrochemical sensor arrays have been developed which respond to specific volatiles for the early detection of food spoilage. Examples have been the detection of rotting potatoes in storage and the identification of spoiled hams which have not been successfully cured. A new low cost, highly sensitive generic gas sensor technology has recently developed that has applications for environmental monitoring.

The use of mass spectroscopy has identified novel volatile compounds from the urine of patients with prostate cancer. A small pilot study has been performed which gave 100% correct classification of 15 prostate cancer patients and 20 normal age-match patients. Currently a patent is being filed but further collaboration is being sought to undertake a larger study. The Institute has a complimentary strand of research, the diagnosis of gastrointestinal (GI) disease and infection trough volatile analysis. A broad patent application to protect this methodology as recently received a certificate of allowance from the USPTO. Prototype point of care (POC) technology is being developed to enable the recognition of the volatile markers, and a patent application has been filed on an enabling technology.

Lead researcher: Professor Norman Ratcliffe

For more information about vapour sensing, please contact us.