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Development of Multifunctional Antimicrobial Flexible Sensor

Diagram of Development of Multifunctional Antimicrobial Flexible SensorNosocomial infections are the most prevalent adverse event in healthcare settings worldwide. Generally, polymers used in textiles (such as nylon and polyester) have the potential to propagate microorganisms since the three key conditions for microorganism development, namely moisture, nutrients, and temperature, are concurrently present in polymers in contact with human skin. One of the most effective approaches to prevent the proliferation of resistant bacterial strains is the use of durable antibacterial textiles in hospitals. Metal-based nanoparticles (MNPs) have a higher surface area with greater leaching speed than larger particles. Therefore, polymers containing MNPs are currently considered attractive candidates to release higher concentrations of metal ions with a more potent antimicrobial effect. This polymer composite can produce a response to physical and chemical stimuli such as a change in heat, electrical current, temperature, moisture and force. Furthermore, certain polymers are naturally flexible that can accommodate the body's motions. This mean that this polymer composite in the cloth would ultimately be used as wearable sensors.


In this context, this project aims to develop a novel antimicrobial flexible conductive wearable sensor. The sensor will be prepared by dispersing bimetallic nanoparticles/nanowires on the polymer matrix using different approaches: melt compounding, in situ polymerisation, and solution mixing. Subsequently, the sensor's antibacterial and electrical properties, such as conductivity, will be investigated simultaneously to achieve a good combination of antibacterial behaviour and conductivity. Studies that examine these features together are unique. Furthermore, in this study, a new theoretical model capable of predicting antibacterial properties based on conductivity data will be developed. This project will allow the design of antibacterial sensors with favourable electrical properties for potential medical applications.

Faculty: Engineering and Environment

Department: Mechanical and Construction Engineering

Principal Supervisor: Dr Yolanda Sanchez Vicente

Recent publications by supervisors relevant to this project 

Conductivity Behaviour under Pressure of Copper Micro-Additive/Polyurethane Composites (Experiment and Modelling) Saeid Mehvari, Yolanda Sanchez-Vicente, Sergio González and Khalid Lafdi, Polymers 2022, 14(7), 1287.


Eligibility and How to Apply


Applications are invited from exceptional candidates who have a good first or upper second class degree (or equivalent) in engineering or materials science. Students who are not UK/EU residents are eligible to apply, provided they hold the relevant academic qualifications, together with an IELTS score of at least 6.5. This project is well suited to motivated and hard-working candidates with a keen interest in design, materials and manufacturing. The applicant should have excellent communication skills including proven ability to write in English.

For more information and informal enquiries please contact

Further details of the application process and entry requirements can be found here:

Deadline for applications: 1st December for March (following year) start; 1st July for October (same year) start.

Start Dates: March and October of each year

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