College best publication award

John S. Fossey (Chemistry), Paula Mendes (Chemical Engineering) and others from the University Birmingham, UK, along with collaborators at the University of Bath (Tony James), UK, and at the East China University of Science and Technology (Yitao Long), China, produced two back to back papers on the development of glucose sensors, which appeared in Analyst and were awarded College best publication award.

Summary by John Fossey and Paula Mendes

The papers describe a new glucose sensor based on the principle of self-assembly and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) optical technique.

The sensor is prepared by modifying the surface of a gold electrode with a bis-boronic acid receptor. The receptor contains a glucose selective chemosensor unit and a surface anchoring unit, which allows selective detection of glucose. This system has the unique capacity to label-free and allows detection of molecular interactions in real time with high sensitivity. According to this research, SPR could be an attractive sensing platform to selectively monitor glucose and possibly other analytes.

There is an unmet need in continuous, real time, accurate glucose monitoring. Whilst single point measurements of glucose in blood are common place, real time blood glucose information could be transformative for the care of critically ill patients in hospitals. These reports open the door to a new method of glucose level determination that could deliver significant clinical benefit.

Professor Yitao Long from ECUST was a visiting Professor at University of Birmingham from June to August 2013. Dr John Fossey and Professor Yitao Long are also members of the Catalysis and Sensing for our Environment (CASE) network that annually brings together speakers, in particular, from the UK and China for a packed day of research seminars highlighting recent developments in catalysis and sensing. CASE 2011 took place in Birmingham and was a spring board for this cooperation. Furthermore, we are currently involved in a Sino-UK Higher Education Research Partnership for PhD Studies that has been allowing us to exchange students between both institutions and improve working relationships and spread best practice to enhance research excellence and strengthen individual teams.

A bis-boronic acid modified electrode for the sensitive and selective determination of glucose concentrations: H.-C. Wang, H. Zhou, B. Chen, P. M. Mendes, J. S. Fossey,* T. D. James,* and Y.-T. Long,* Analyst, 2013, 138, 7146
>>Inside Cover - Special Collection: In celebration of Seiji Shinkai's 70th Birthday<<


Glucose selective Surface Plasmon Resonance-based bis-boronic acid sensor: A. Stephenson-Brown, H.-C. Wang, P. Iqbal, J. A. Preece, Y.-T. Long, J. S. Fossey,* T. D. James,* and P. M. Mendes,* Analyst, 2013, 138, 7140
>>Cover - Special Collection: In celebration of Seiji Shinkai's 70th Birthday<<


The papers featured, as front and inside cover articles for Analyst, a first for the authors and the journal. The front cover includes an image of samples and crystals from the Birmingham Chemical Museum, a subtle hint to the very long and prestigious sugar chemistry history at University of Birmingham.