Ion sensing

New robust material for effective encapsulation of molecular sensors

We have developed a new material that can effectively encapsulate a variety of ion sensors and have successfully demonstrated its utility and scalability.

Uniquely, our patented hydrogel technology can be integrated into a range of existing devices for monitoring ion levels in samples - in real-time.


Our technology creates a versatile platform which provides a range of benefits:

  • Minimal leaching of the sensor over time
  • Rapid and reliable read-out signal
  • Flexible size and shape tuned for use in a variety of devices, including microfluidic platforms 
  • Potential to simultaneously monitor multiple analytes
  • Multiple re-use of the sensing material

These characteristics overcome current obstacles that have long hindered the development of ion sensing materials.


Our technology addresses the sensing needs of a variety of markets, including:

  • Medical - Point-of-care diagnostics to monitor blood content
  • Agriculture - Pesticide and herbicide monitoring
  • Environment - Drinking water analysis and sampling
  • Food and drink - Quality control and contaminant detection
  • Security and defence - Stand-off detection of harmful agents

Meet the team

  • Dr Steven Butler (Senior Lecturer)
  • Dr Helen Willcock (Senior Lecturer)
  • Adam Price (Research Associate)