Research Directions

Conquering a New Paradigm for Addressing Ion Detection in Real Scenarios 

ERC Starting Grant (Agreement Nr 851957)

€ 1 605 248,75

Starting date: 01.01.2021

Program: H2020-EU.1.1. – EXCELLENT SCIENCE – European Research Council (ERC) 

Research Lines

I. Wearable Sensors for Sports and Health Monitoring 

Wearable sensors have taken big attention in the last few years, especially for monitoring sports performance.  In this research line, UCAM-SENS focuses on the development and validation of new wearable chemical (bio)sensors that target relevant (bio)markers in the sports and healthcare domains. The sensors will analyze peripheral fluids (sweat, urine, and saliva) and will be in the form of wearable gadgets that do not alter the physical performance or life of the athlete/patient (e.g., smart cloths and bands, epidermal patches, diapers, strips, etc.). For the validation stage, field tests with a selected number of subjects will be designed, and marker-performance and marker-status correlations will be investigated.

Our two most recent publications on wearable sensors for Sports Health Monitoring, "A Wearable Biosensor for Sweat Lactate as a Proxy for Sports Performance Monitoring" (Anal. Sens. 2022, e202200047) and " Fully Integrated Wearable Device for Continuous Sweat Lactate Monitoring in Sports" (ACS Sens. 2023, 8, 6, 2401–2409),  have been selected as a Cover Front and Hots Topics of both journals.

II . Micro- and Nano-Sensors

This research line aims to scale down chemical (bio)sensors and differently prototyped for the final analytical application: for example, submersible probes for water analysis, drug monitoring devices, food monitoring devices, microneedle systems for transdermal measurements, smart diapers and nanoelectrodes for single cell measurements, among others. 

Our latest publication at ACS Sensors related to “In vivo Transdermal pH Sensor”, where the sensors consist of a microneedle patch, has been selected for the Front Cover of the ACS Journal in its January Edition as proof of real breakthrough innovative concepts in the field of chemical sensing apply to health monitoring.  

Our submersible probes have proved to be a reliable and highly specific real-time monitoring system to measure relevant nutrients in aquatic environments such as the Baltic Sea, representing an excellent alternative to conventional laboratory analysis.  Hence, the nanosensors aim to transform the way to detect relevant processes at the cellular level, such as cancerogenesis. 

III. Fundamental and Applied Electrochemistry

Under the concept of the ERC SG project, ConquerIons, the main objective of this research line is to develop new electrochemical approaches for ions and biomolecule sensing and then, integrate them into measurement devices that target different real-context analytical applications such as environmental and clinical scenarios. Also, it is intended to model the operation of the sensor, to understand the necessary path to achieve optimal analytical performance. The sensing strategy will be developed around charge-exchange processes that are generated at the different interfaces of the materials used to build up the sensor. In addition, optical readouts could be also used.  Our last publication in Analytical Chemistry, "Portable All-in-One Electrochemical Actuator-Sensor System for the Detection of Dissolved Inorganic Phosphorus in Seawater" (Anal. Chem. 2023, 95, 8, 4180–4189), demonstrated how these new concepts could solve the lack of tangible solutions for the in situ monitoring of nutrients in water systems.