Zoomposium 3: 9 June 2020

Published: 9 June 2020

Prof ROY VELLAISAMY: 'Intelligent sensors for food safety, water quality monitoring and healthcare applications' Dr CISE UNLUER: 'Development of Novel Binders and Sustainable Construction Products' Dr MASSIMO VASSALLI: 'Cell biophysics: methods and applications'

Watch Zoomposia 3 (password: 3e.%?L4d)


Professor Roy Vellaisamy, James Watt School of Engineering
'Intelligent sensors for food safety, water quality monitoring and healthcare applications'

Over the years, we have developed an electronic sensor platform based on molecular level interaction between the target and analyte to detect toxins. The advantage of our sensor platform is that it can be used for on-site detection; it is easy to operate and provides results on real-time basis. In addition, we have extended our sensor platform system for healthcare applications such as detection of cancer biomarkers as point of care diagnostic tools. Latest advancements of our electronic sensor platform (including future plan) and energy systems include:

  • Point of Care (PoC) diagnostic tools - Onsite screening of disease biomarkers, contaminants in food and water
  • Detection of contaminants include heavy metals, minerals, organic toxins, pesticides and over all soil quality for agriculture
  • For aquaculture, water quality and oxygen level detection
  • Detection of cancer biomarkers for prostate cancer, gastrointestinal cancer and detection of other cancer biomarkers are in development
  • For food safety - Detection biogenic amines, formaldehyde and other carcinogenic complexes
  • Detection of illicit drugs - Vapor phase detectors (electronic nose) as an alternative to sniffer dogs


Dr Cise Unluer, James Watt School of Engineering
'Development of Novel Binders and Sustainable Construction Products'

Cise’s research aims to contribute to a sustainable built environment through the development of innovative and functional construction products with high performance and durability. In her work, she focuses on the use of waste materials, carbon sequestration, recycling, self-healing and 3D printing processes involving cement-based mixes. Within these topics, she is interested in studying the relationship between reaction mechanisms, mechanical performance and microstructural development, as well as the environmental impacts of various binder systems and materials.

Areas of interest for collaboration:

  • Sustainability
  • waste materials
  • carbon sequestration
  • recycling
  • self-healing
  • 3D printing
  • concrete structures
  • novel materials


Dr Massimo Vassalli, James Watt School of Engineering
'Cell biophysics: methods and applications'

My general research interest is in understanding the mechanisms by which physical forces are transduced into biologically relevant signals, and their role in the homoeostasis of key physiological processes whose alteration eventually leads to pathology or degeneration, such as in cancer or ageing. Moreover, exploiting my technical background in physics and engineering, I'm also committed in developing enabling microscopy and spectroscopy tools to measure mechanical properties, image and manipulate (biological) objects at the micro- and nano-scale.

I’m looking for collaborations with anyone interested in either biophysical methods or specific mechanobiology applications (or both). Some examples include:


  • Nanoindentation and mechanical characterization of soft materials
  • Cantilever-based mass sensors (measuring the mass of a living cell?)
  • Single cell label-free physical phenotyping (elasticity, refractive index)


  • Mechanobiology of aging and the role of mechanical dysregulation in the onset of age-related disorders
  • Mechanics of the microenvironment and stem cell differentiation
  • Mechanosensitive ion channels (in particular Piezo1)

First published: 9 June 2020