Faculty of Biological Sciences

Prof Paul Millner

BSc, PhD Feb 1979, Leeds
Professor in Bionanotechnology
School of Biomedical Sciences

Background: Postdoctoral work at Purdue University, Indiana USA and Imperial College, London. Appointed Lecturer 1986, Senior Lecturer 1993, Reader 2006.

Contact:  Garstang 6.44f, +44(0) 113 34 33149/34272, email address for  

You can read more about Prof Millner's interests here:

Research Interests

Nano-scale enginering of surfaces for biosensor applications, nanoparticulate supports, bio-affinity systems

Reagentless Electrochemical Biosensors:

an immunosensor

We have developed a new reagentless immunosensor platform which allows highly sensitive single step measurement of a wide range of substances. Biosensors developed include those for GM-material in food stuffs (EC Project IMAGEMO), based on affinity immobilisation of tagged antibodies to self assembled mixed monolayers (Fig. 1) or to electropolymerised polyaniline layers (EC Project ELISHA - see www.immunosensors.com). Immunosensors for antibiotics, herbicides, cardiac, cancer and neurodegenerative disease markers have been developed, whilst immunosensors for viruses are under development. We are using other binding proteins to create biosensors for chitin (fungal infection marker) and low Mw hydrophobic molecules. In particular, we are interested in the nanoscale structure of the sensor surface and how this influences the impedance signals observed.


biosilicate nanoparticles

Nanoparticle and microparticles:
Work is ongoing to develop nanoparticles of various compositions as enzyme supports for biocatalysis and for applications in biosensing. Biosilicate nanoparticles of defined dimensions and biosilicate surface coating have been produced which can entrap and/or stabilise commercially interesting enzymes (EC Project SANTS - www.sants-nanosilicates.com). An scanning EM image of the nanoparticles is shown in Fig. 2.

We have also developed polymeric nanoparticles within project EC Project COMBIO; these have 'tunable' properties including user defined size and a range of surface chemistries to allow attachment of other biomolecules and aggregation by simple manipulation of pH or ionic environment. Magnetic nanoparticles have also been developed.

We have also developed microparticles based on carageenan, a natural biodegradeable polysaccharide isolated from red seaweeds which provide cheap, biodegradeable and disposable supports for the attachment of enzymes for biocatalysis.


Faculty Research and Innovation

Studentship information

Undergraduate project topics:

  • Fast electrical interrogation of biosensors
    Keywords: Biosensor, electrode, quartz crystal microbalance (QCM), nanotechnology (Laboratory)
  • Application of functionalised nanoparticles for biosensing and intraoperative cancer imaging
    Keywords: nanoparticle synthesis, size measurement, antibody, nanotechnology (Laboratory)
  • Fabrication of photosensitizer loaded nanostructured surfaces for microbial and chemical water pollutant cleanup.
    Keywords: electrospun nanofibres, metal oxide nanorods, photosensitizers, nanotechnology (Laboratory)

Postgraduate studentship areas:

  • Enzyme-based biosensors and immunosensors for medical, food and envronmental analyses
  • Molecular mechanisms underlying impedance biosensor signal generation
  • Application of functionalised nanoparticles for biosensing and cancer imaging
  • fabrication of very high area surfaces and their application to photosensitized water cleanup

See also:

Modules managed

BMSC3238 - Biomedical Nanotechnology

Modules taught

BIOL5262M - Molecular Diagnostics and Drug Delivery
BIOL5276M - Medical Diagnostics
BIOL5294M - MSc Bioscience Research Project Proposal
BIOL5372M - Advanced Biomolecular Technologies
BIOL5392M - Bioscience MSc Research Project
BMSC1213 - Basic Laboratory and Scientific Skills 2
BMSC2233 - Topics in Medical Sciences
BMSC3140 - Advanced Scientific Skills
BMSC3238 - Biomedical Nanotechnology
BMSC3301 - Research Project in Biomedical Sciences

Centre membership: The Centre for Molecular Nanoscience

Group Leader Prof Paul Millner  (Professor in Bionanotechnology)

Nano-scale enginering of surfaces for biosensor applications, nanoparticulate supports, bio-affinity systems 

Dr Timothy Gibson  (Visiting Research Administrator)

Research Interests and Practical Exploitation of Research:
Biosensors and Chemical Sensor Technology, Electronic Nose Technology, Molecular Interactions at Sensor Surfaces and Stabilisation of Proteins, Enzymes and Antibodies.

Mr Jack Goode  (Research Fellow in Optical Nanobiosensors for Infection Biomarkers)

Dr Lewis Mackenzie  (Research Fellow)

Biomedical optics, nano-sensor development, blood diagnostics, in vivo oximetry 

Dr Alexandre Vakurov  (Research Fellow)


Eiman Alenezi (Primary supervisor) 60% FTE
Kaniz Chowdhury (Primary supervisor) 75% FTE
Thanisorn Mahatnirunkul (Primary supervisor) 50% FTE
Hussaini Majiya (Primary supervisor) 75% FTE
Shazana Hilda Binti Shamsuddin (Primary supervisor) 50% FTE
Pattanapong Thangsunan (Primary supervisor) 50% FTE
Andrew Brown (Co-supervisor) 10% FTE
Yazan Sulaiman Khaled (Co-supervisor) 33% FTE
Forough Torabi Baghkomeh (Co-supervisor) 50% FTE

Goode J, Dillon G, Millner PA The development and optimisation of Nanobody based electrochemical immunosensors for IgG Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical 234 478-484, 2016
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Makaraviciute A, Jackson CD, Millner PA, Ramanaviciene A Considerations in producing preferentially reduced half-antibody fragments Journal of Immunological Methods 429 50-56, 2016
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Tiernan JP, Ingram N, Marston G, Perry SL, Rushworth JV, Coletta PL, Millner PA, Jayne DG, Hughes TA CEA-targeted nanoparticles allow specific in vivo fluorescent imaging of colorectal cancer models Nanomedicine 10 1223-1231, 2015
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Hyde EDE, Moreno-Atanasio R, Millner PA, Neville F Surface charge control through the reversible adsorption of a biomimetic polymer on silica particles Journal of Physical Chemistry B 119 1726-1735, 2015
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Nampi PP, Varma H, Biju PR, Kakkar T, Jose G, Saha S, Millner P Sodium yttrium fluoride based upconversion nano phosphors for biosensing, 2015
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Goode JA, Rushworth JV, Millner PA Biosensor Regeneration: A Review of Common Techniques and Outcomes. Langmuir 31 6267-6276, 2014
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Ahmed A, Rushworth JV, Hirst NA, Millner PA Biosensors for whole-cell bacterial detection. Clin Microbiol Rev 27 631-646, 2014
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Rushworth JV, Ahmed A, Griffiths HH, Pollock NM, Hooper NM, Millner PA A label-free electrical impedimetric biosensor for the specific detection of Alzheimer's amyloid-beta oligomers. Biosens Bioelectron 56 83-90, 2014
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Hirst NA, Tiernan JP, Millner PA, Jayne DG Systematic review of methods to predict and detect anastomotic leakage in colorectal surgery. Colorectal Dis 16 95-109, 2014
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Goode JA, Ahmed A, Pike D, Millner PA, Kapur N, Stewart D Comparative Electrochemical Analysis of Two Flow Cell Systems JOURNAL OF THE ELECTROCHEMICAL SOCIETY 161 B143-B146, 2014

Ahmed A, Rushworth JV, Wright JD, Millner PA Novel Impedimetric Irnmunosensor for Detection of Pathogenic Bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes in Human Saliva ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY 85 12118-12125, 2013

Hirst NA, Hazelwood LD, Jayne DG, Millner PA An amperometric lactate biosensor using H2O2 reduction via a Prussian Blue impregnated poly(ethyleneimine) surface on screen printed carbon electrodes to detect anastomotic leak and sepsis SENSORS AND ACTUATORS B-CHEMICAL 186 674-680, 2013

Pike DJ, Kapur N, Millner PA, Stewart DI Flow cell design for effective biosensing. Sensors (Basel) 13 58-70, 2012
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Billah MM, Hays HCW, Hodges CS, Ponnambalam S, Vohra R, Millner PA Mixed self-assembled monolayer (mSAM) based impedimetric immunosensors for cardiac troponin I (cTnI) and soluble lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 (sLOX-1) SENSORS AND ACTUATORS B-CHEMICAL 173 361-366, 2012

Tiernan JP, Ansari I, Hirst NA, Millner PA, Hughes TA, Jayne DG Intra-operative tumour detection and staging in colorectal cancer surgery. Colorectal Dis 14 e510-e520, 2012
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Millner PA, Caygill RL, Conroy DJR, Shahidan MA Impedance interrogated affinity biosensors for medical applications: Novel targets and mechanistic studies, 2012
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Caygill RL, Hodges CS, Holmes JL, Higson SPJ, Blair GE, Millner PA Novel impedimetric immunosensor for the detection and quantitation of Adenovirus using reduced antibody fragments immobilized onto a conducting copolymer surface. Biosens Bioelectron 32 104-110, 2012
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Pchelintsev NA, Vakurov A, Hays HH, Millner PA Thiols deposition onto the surface of glassy carbon electrodes mediated by electrical potential ELECTROCHIM ACTA 56 2696-2702, 2011

Neville F, Broderick MJF, Gibson T, Millner PA Fabrication and Activity of Silicate Nanoparticles and Nanosilicate-Entrapped Enzymes Using Polyethyleneimine As a Biomimetic Polymer LANGMUIR 27 279-285, 2011

Caygill RL, Blair GE, Millner PA A review on viral biosensors to detect human pathogens ANAL CHIM ACTA 681 8-15, 2010

Billah MM, Hodges CS, Hays HCW, Millner PA Directed immobilization of reduced antibody fragments onto a novel SAM on gold for myoglobin impedance immunosensing BIOELECTROCHEMISTRY 80 49-54, 2010

Rodgers MA, Findlay JBC, Millner PA Lipocalin based biosensors for low mass hydrophobic analytes; development of a novel SAM for polyhistidine tagged proteins SENSOR ACTUAT B-CHEM 150 12-18, 2010

Conroy DJR, Millner PA, Stewart DI, Pollmann K Biosensing for the Environment and Defence: Aqueous Uranyl Detection Using Bacterial Surface Layer Proteins SENSORS-BASEL 10 4739-4755, 2010

Pchelintsev NA, Vakurov A, Millner PA Simultaneous deposition of Prussian Blue and creation of an electrostatic surface for rapid biosensor construction SENSOR ACTUAT B-CHEM 138 461-466, 2009

Neville F, Pchelintsev NA, Broderick MJF, Gibson T, Millner PA Novel one-pot synthesis and characterization of bioactive thiol-silicate nanoparticles for biocatalytic and biosensor applications. Nanotechnology 20 055612-, 2009
View abstract

Millner PA, Hays HCW, Vakurov A, Pchelintsev NA, Billah MM, Rodgers MA Nanostructured transducer surfaces for electrochemical biosensor construction-Interfacing the sensing component with the electrode SEMIN CELL DEV BIOL 20 34-40, 2009

Barton AC, Collyer SD, Davis F, Garifallou GZ, Tsekenis G, Tully E, O'Kennedy R, Gibson T, Millner PA, Higson SPJ Labeless AC impedimetric antibody-based sensors with pg ml(-1) sensitivities for point-of-care biomedical applications, 2009

Pchelintsev NA, Neville F, Millner PA Biomimetic silication of surfaces and its application to preventing leaching of electrostatically immobilized enzymes SENSOR ACTUAT B-CHEM 135 21-26, 2008

Tsekenis G, Garifallou GZ, Davis F, Millner PA, Pinacho DG, Sanchez-Baeza F, Marco MP, Gibson TD, Higson SPJ Detection of Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics in Milk via a Labeless Immunoassay Based upon an Alternating Current Impedance Protocol ANAL CHEM 80 9233-9239, 2008

Meller Harel HY, Fontaine V, Chen H, Jones IM, Millner PA Display of a maize cDNA library on baculovirus infected insect cells. BMC Biotechnol 8 64-, 2008
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Pchelintsev NA, Millner PA A novel procedure for rapid surface functionalisation and mediator loading of screen-printed carbon electrodes ANAL CHIM ACTA 612 190-197, 2008

Tsekenis G, Garifallou GZ, Davis F, Millner PA, Gibson TD, Higson SPJ Label-less immunosensor assay for myelin basic protein based upon an ac impedance protocol ANAL CHEM 80 2058-2062, 2008

Billah M, Hays HCW, Millner PA Development of a myoglobin impedimetric immunosensor based on mixed self-assembled monolayer onto gold MICROCHIMICA ACTA 160 447-454, 2008

Neville FC, Broderick MJF, Vakourov AV, Millner PA Small solutions for greener chemistry None 108-114, 2007
View abstract

Bidoki SM, Lewis DM, Clark M, Vakorov A, Millner PA, McGorman D Ink-jet fabrication of electronic components J MICROMECH MICROENG 17 967-974, 2007

Pchelintsev NA, Millner PA Development of surface activated screen-printed carbon transducers for biosensors application ANAL LETT 40 1317-1332, 2007

Hannah MA, Kramer KM, Geffroy V, Kopka J, Blair MW, Erban A, Vallejos CE, Heyer AG, Sanders FET, Millner PA, Pilbeam DJ Hybrid weakness controlled by the dosage-dependent lethal (DL) gene system in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) is caused by a shoot-derived inhibitory signal leading to salicylic acid-associated root death NEW PHYTOL 176 537-549, 2007

Garifallou GZ, Tsekenis G, Davis F, Higson SPJ, Millner PA, Pinacho DG, Sanchez-Baeza F, Marco MP, Gibson TD Labeless immunosensor assay for fluoroquinolone antibiotics based upon an AC impedance protocol ANAL LETT 40 1412-1422, 2007

Hays HCW, Millner PA, Prodromidis MI Development of capacitance based immunosensors on mixed self-assembled monolayers SENSOR ACTUAT B-CHEM 114 1064-1070, 2006

Hleli S, Martelet C, Abdelghani A, Bessueille F, Errachid A, Samitier J, Hays HCW, Millner PA, Bums N, Jaffrezic-Renault N An immunosensor for haemoglobin based on impedimetric properties of a new mixed self-assembled monolayer MATERIALS SCIENCE&ENGINEERING C-BIOMIMETIC AND SUPRAMOLECULAR SYSTEMS 26 322-327, 2006

Hays HCW, Millner PA, Jones JK, Rayner-Brandes MH A novel and convenient self-drying system for bacterial preservation J MICROBIOL METH 63 29-35, 2005

Weiss S, Millner PA, Nelson AS Monitoring protein binding to phospholipid monolayers using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy Electrochimica Acta 50 4248-4256, 2005
View abstract

Vakurov A, Simpson CE, Daly CL, Gibson TD, Millner PA Acetylecholinesterase-based biosensor electrodes for organophosphate pesticide detection - II. Immobilization and stabilization of acetylecholinesterase BIOSENS BIOELECTRON 20 2324-2329, 2005

Elnashar MM, Millner PA, Johnson AF, Gibson T Parallel plate equipment for preparation of uniform gel sheets Biotechnology Letters 27 737-739, 2005
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Vakurov A, Simpson CE, Daly CL, Gibson TD, Millner PA Acetylcholinesterase-based biosensor electrodes for organophosphate pesticide detection. I. Modification of carbon surface for immobilization of acetylcholinesterase. Biosens Bioelectron 20 1118-1125, 2004
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Swarup R, Kargul J, Marchant A, Zadik D, Rahman A, Mills R, Yemm A, May S, Williams L, Millner PA, Tsurumi S, Moore I, Napier R, Kerr ID, Bennett MJ Structure-Function Analysis of the Presumptive Arabidopsis Auxin Permease AUX1 Plant Cell 16 3069-3083, 2004
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Robinson SA, Smith JE, Millner PA Toxoplasma gondii major surface antigen (SAG1): in vitro analysis of host cell binding. Parasitology 128 391-396, 2004
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Pritchard JA, Law KA, Vakurov A, Millner PA, Higson SPJ Sonochemically fabricated enzyme microelectrode arrays for the environmental moniroting of pesticides Biosensors and Bioelectronics 20 765-772, 2004

Manios T, Stentiford EI, Millner PA Removal of heavy metals from a metaliferous water solution by Typha latifolia plants and sewage sludge compost Chemosphere 53 487-494, 2003

Manios T, Stentiford EI, Millner PA The Removal of Chemical Oxygen Demand from Primary-Treated Domestic Wastewater in Subsurface-Flow Reed Beds Using Different Substrates Water Environment Research 75 336-341, 2003

Manios T, Stentiford EI, Millner PA The effect of heavy metals accumulation on the chlorophyll concentration of Typha latifolia plants, growing in a substrate containing sewage sludge compost and watered with metaliferus water Ecological Engineering 20 65-74, 2003

Manios T, Stentiford EI, Millner PA Removal of total suspended solids from wastewater in constructed horizontal flow subsurface wetlands Journal of Environmental Science and Health. Part A. Toxic Hazardous Sustances and Environmental Engineering. 38 1073-1085, 2003

Manios T, Stentiford EI, Millner PA The removal of indicator microorganisms from primary treated wastewater in subsurface reed beds using different substrates ENVIRON TECHNOL 23 767-774, 2002

Manios T, Stentiford EI, Millner PA The effect of heavy metals on the total protein concentration of Typha latifolia plants, growing in a substrate containing sewage sludge compost and watered with metaliferus wastewater Journal of Environmental Science and Health. Part A. Toxic Hazardous Sustances and Environmental Engineering. 37 1441-1451, 2002

Mello LV, Millner PA, Findlay JBC Biochemical characteristics of guanine nucleotide binding protein alpha-subunit recombinant protein and three mutants: Investigation of a domain motion involved in GDP-GTP exchange J PROTEIN CHEM 21 29-34, 2002

Manios T, Stentiford EI, Millner PA The removal of NH3-N from primary treated wastewater in subsurface reed beds using different substrates J ENVIRON SCI HEAL A 37 297-308, 2002

Millner PA Heterotrimeric G-proteins in plant cell signaling NEW PHYTOL 151 165-174, 2001

Ricart CAO, Wise A, Findlay JBC, Millner PA Presence of rhodopsin-like proteins in Sorghum bicolor and Pisum sativum Journal of Plant Physiology 156 300-305, 2000

Hutton JL, Knight CD, Millner PA The Physcomitrella patens GPalpha1 homologue is located at protonemal cell junctions Journal of Experimental Botany 49 1113-1118, 1998

Wise A, Thomas PG, Carr TH, Murphy GA, Millner PA Expression of the Arabidopsis G-protein GPalpha1: purification and expression of the recombinant protein Plant Molecular Biology 33 723-728, 1997

Millner PA, Groarke DA, White IR Synthetic peptides as probes of plant cell signalling: the auxin signalling pathway Plant Growth Regulation 18 143-147, 1996
View abstract

Millner PA, Causier BE G-protein coupled receptors in plant cells Journal of Experimental Botany 47 983-992, 1996

Barbier-Brygoo H, Zimmerman S, Thomine S, White I, Millner PA, Guern J Elementary auxin response chains at the plasma membrane involve external abp 1 and multiple electrogenic ion transport proteins Plant Growth Regulation 18 23-28, 1996

Causier BE, Millner PA G-protein regulated phopsholipase D - another piece in the plant cell signalling jigsaw Trends in Plant Science 1 168-170, 1996

Bennett MJ, Marchant A, Green HG, May ST, Ward SP, Millner PA, Walker AR, Schulz B, Feldmann KA Arabidopsis AUX1 gene: A permease-like regulator of root gravitropism Science 273 948-950, 1996