Our research

Building on patented ion sensing technology, we are developing a new class of advanced sensing materials to provide continuous analysis of the health of aquatic and terrestrial systems.

Our innovative luminescent hydrogel material can effectively encapsulate a variety of ion sensors and is ready to be applied to a range of new challenges.

Find out more about our patented ion sensing technology.

For multiple locations within a system, we will provide real-time data on the levels of:

  • algae
  • bacterial contamination
  • chlorophyll
  • dissolved CO2
  • organic matter
  • pollutants such as phosphate and nitrate

This information will allow these fundamental indicators of ecosystem health and climate change to be monitored in unparalleled detail - both in terms of temporal and spatial resolution.

Datasets like these will be key for understanding how these critical ecosystems function and respond to current drivers of environmental change.

Key research facilities

EcoSENSE benefits from access to state-of-the-art Materials and Chemistry laboratories, including: 

  • Dedicated laboratory facilities with technical support to enable synthetic organic and polymer chemistry, including air sensitive techniques.
  • Materials characterisation and testing facilities including nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), size exclusion chromatography (SEC), rheometers, fluorimeters, custom-built fluorescence spectrometer, microplate readers and thermal analysis.
  • The Loughborough Materials Characterisation Centre which provides a wealth of surface analysis and microscopy techniques.  

Our industry partner Mast Group provides commercial R&D facilities to validate our new sensing materials. 

Related research groups

Several research groups underpin the shared aim of the EcoSENSE research cluster.

Find out more by browsing the research group links below.

Polymer Chemistry

Our research focuses on tuning the properties of polymers by controlling their architecture and morphology - with a particular focus on stimuli responsive materials.

Read more about the Polymer Chemistry group

Synthetic Supramolecular Chemistry

We exlore the synthesis of supramolecular tools to probe interactions at the chemistry-biology interface, and are developing fluorescent and luminescent molecular probes for the selective detection of biological substrates.

Find out more about the Synthetic Supramolecular Chemistry group

Understanding and Managing Environmental Change

Our world-leading research on freshwater environments emphasises the interactions between biotic and abiotic components for local and global processes. Using field monitoring, laboratory experiments and numerical modelling we are investigating a variety of environmental processes and change.

Find out more about our research into environmental change

Vision, AI, Autonomous and Human Centred Systems (VAAH)

We explore both the theoretical and application aspects of artificial intelligence, computer vision, robotics and autonomous systems, machine learning, bio-inspired AI, pattern recognition, embedded intelligence, image processing, and HCI and human-factors.

Find out more about our VAAH research