PhD student, The University of Manchester


I formulate innovative bio-chemistry to rapidly detect the bacterial pathogen

Does everyone ever imagine what will happen to our families, friends and citizens if war is attacking us, but this time not from a bomb or normal weapon but it comes from biological agents such as viruses and bacteria? Do we realise that the impact of this kind of war is much worse than normal war as virus and bacteria can easily spread at very fast and difficult to detect, hence not only can kill millions of people or animals but also totally damaged the nature? That’s where my research comes from, in which, answering how to formulate a better sensor to rapidly detect and monitor the presence of a bacteria and its viruses at very low level, thus very applicable for environmental and safety health control.


Chromogenic Photonic Crystal Sensors Enabled by Multistimuli-Responsive Shape Memory Polymers

Abstract: Here novel chromogenic photonic crystal sensors based on smart shape memory polymers (SMPs) comprising polyester/polyether-based urethane acrylates blended with tripropylene glycol diacrylate are reported, which exhibit nontraditional all-room-temperature shape memory (SM) effects. Stepwise recovery of the collapsed macropores with 350 nm diameter created by a “cold” programming process leads to easily perceived color changes that can be correlated with the concentrations of swelling analytes in complex, multicomponent nonswelling mixtures. High sensitivity (as low as 10 ppm) and unprecedented measurement range (from 10 ppm to 30 vol%) for analyzing ethanol in octane and gasoline have been demonstrated by leveraging colorimetric sensing in both liquid and gas phases. Proof-of-concept tests for specifically detecting ethanol in consumer medical and healthcare products have also been demonstrated. These sensors are inexpensive, reusable, durable, and readily deployable with mobile platforms for quantitative analysis. Additionally, theoretical modeling of solvent diffusion in macroporous SMPs provides fundamental insights into the mechanisms of nanoscopic SM recovery, which is a topic that has received little examination. These novel sensors are of great technological importance in a wide spectrum of applications ranging from environmental monitoring and workplace hazard identification to threat detection and process/product control in chemical, petroleum, and pharmaceutical industries.

Pub.: 31 Jan '18, Pinned: 02 Feb '18

Detection of persistent pestivirus infection in pudú (Pudu puda) in a captive population of artiodactyls in Chile

Abstract: Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV) is the viral agent causing the most important economic losses in livestock throughout the world. Infection of fetuses before their immunological maturity causes the birth of animals persistently infected with BVDV (PI), which are the main source of infection and maintenance of this pathogen in a herd. There is evidence of susceptibility to infection with BVDV in more than 50 species of the order Artiodactyla, and the ability to establish persistent infection in wild cervid species of South America could represent an important risk in control and eradication programs of BVDV in cattle, and a threat to conservation of these wild species. In this study, a serological and virological study was performed to detect BVDV infection in a captive population of non-bovine artiodactyl species in a Chilean zoo with antecedents of abortions whose pathology suggests an infectious etiology.Detection of neutralizing antibodies against BVDV was performed in 112 artiodactyl animals from a zoo in Chile. Three alpacas (Vicugna pacos), one guanaco (Lama guanicoe) and seven pudús (Pudu puda) resulted seropositive, and the only seronegative pudú was suspected to be persistently infected with BVDV. Then two blood samples nine months apart were analyzed by a viral neutralization test and RT-PCR. Non-cytopathogenic BVDVs were isolated in both samples. A phylogenetic analysis showed that the virus was highly related to BVDV-1b strains circulating among Chilean cattle.This is the first report of a South American deer persistently infected with Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus. Further studies are needed to determine the possible role of BVDV as a pathogen in pudús and as a threat to their conservation.

Pub.: 01 Feb '18, Pinned: 02 Feb '18

Detection of sleep disordered breathing severity using acoustic biomarker and machine learning techniques

Abstract: Breathing sounds during sleep are altered and characterized by various acoustic specificities in patients with sleep disordered breathing (SDB). This study aimed to identify acoustic biomarkers indicative of the severity of SDB by analyzing the breathing sounds collected from a large number of subjects during entire overnight sleep.The participants were patients who presented at a sleep center with snoring or cessation of breathing during sleep. They were subjected to full-night polysomnography (PSG) during which the breathing sound was recorded using a microphone. Then, audio features were extracted and a group of features differing significantly between different SDB severity groups was selected as a potential acoustic biomarker. To assess the validity of the acoustic biomarker, classification tasks were performed using several machine learning techniques. Based on the apnea–hypopnea index of the subjects, four-group classification and binary classification were performed.Using tenfold cross validation, we achieved an accuracy of 88.3% in the four-group classification and an accuracy of 92.5% in the binary classification. Experimental evaluation demonstrated that the models trained on the proposed acoustic biomarkers can be used to estimate the severity of SDB.Acoustic biomarkers may be useful to accurately predict the severity of SDB based on the patient’s breathing sounds during sleep, without conducting attended full-night PSG. This study implies that any device with a microphone, such as a smartphone, could be potentially utilized outside specialized facilities as a screening tool for detecting SDB.

Pub.: 01 Feb '18, Pinned: 02 Feb '18

Presence of Anthropogenic Markers in Water: A Case Study of the Guaporé River Watershed, Brazil

Abstract: Southern Brazil is an agricultural region that is experiencing strong growth in both cereal and animal production. The intensification of agricultural practices, as well as the growing urbanization in this region, also generates strong anthropogenic pressures on the aquatic environment. In Brazil, the lack of sewage treatment and the wide use of waste (liquid or solid) for the fertilization of soils are likely to favor the spread of pharmaceuticals in the surrounding environment. Considering the benefits of the determination of anthropogenic markers in the environment, the study aimed to monitor the presence of carbamazepine (CBZ) and sucralose (SCR) in the Guaporé River, representative of a southern Brazilian rural watershed. Both carbamazepine and sucralose are measured in water by polar organic chemical integrative samplers (POCIS) (CBZ: lower than limit of detection (< LOD) to 746 μg g−1 and SCR: <LOD) and in the river biofilms (CBZ: <LOD to 3.6 ng g−1 and SCR: <LOD to 139.3 ng g−1) to give an overview of the level of aquatic contamination. The use of sucralose and carbamazepine as tracers of anthropogenic activity proved promising, as was the use of biofilms and POCIS as samplers. Biofilm and POCIS are two complementary techniques. Biofilms are able to identify contaminated environment sites by the capture of SCR as a human marker and POCIS are capable to capture the CBZ compounds with higher efficiency in polluted sites than biofilms.

Pub.: 01 Feb '18, Pinned: 02 Feb '18