Research project

Developing new nanobiosensor detection systems

We are creating new ways to detect illicit drugs, explosives and bodily fluids at crime scenes using cutting edge nanobiosensor, DNA aptamers and quantum dot chemistry.

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Start date

January 2018

Project personnel


Project lead(s)

Dr Oluwasesan Adegoke

What we are doing

We are creating new ways for law enforcement and forensic scientists to detect illicit drugs, explosives and bodily fluids at the scene using simple nanoparticle based sensors adapted and functionalised for the specific target compounds. tests.

Why we are doing it

We want to make the detection of drugs, explosives and bodily fluids faster, cheaper and more sensitive. The new tests will allow the analysis to take place at the scene to aid the evidence collection and minimise contamination, aiding the justice process.

How we will do it

The project will involve the creation of several new detection tools which make use of nanoparticle sensors and chromogenic (creation of colour) substrates.  This will allow us to develop sensitive and selective detectors for use as both presumptive and confirmatory tests which are tuned to very specific target compounds identifying for example, different body fluids, drug compounds or explosives.

  • Paper published: Rapid and highly selective colorimetric detection of nitrite based on the catalytic-enhanced reaction of mimetic Au nanoparticle-CeO2 nanoparticle-graphene oxide hybrid nanozyme

  • Paper published: Biomimetic graphene oxide-cationic multi-shaped gold nanoparticle-hemin hybrid nanozyme: Tuning enhanced catalytic activity for the rapid colorimetric apta-biosensing of amphetamine-type stimulants

  • Paper published: Aptamer-based cocaine assay using a nanohybrid composed of ZnS/Ag2Se quantum dots, graphene oxide and gold nanoparticles as a fluorescent probe

  • Paper published: Multi-shaped cationic gold nanoparticle-L-cysteine-ZnSeS quantum dots hybrid nanozyme as an intrinsic peroxidase mimic for the rapid colorimetric detection of cocaine

Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science