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Prof Paul Millner | Faculty of Biological Sciences
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:  LIGHT 7.04 | +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:

Admin roles

External Examiner (taught course): Dublin City University
External Examiner (taught course): Imperial College, London
Faculty Research & Innovation Committee
FBS Equality and Diversity Committee
FBS Exective Committee
FBS Faculty Board
FBS Health and Safety Committee
FBS Strategy Group
FBS Student Recruitment Committee
Head of School

Modules managed

BIOL3111 - Biomedical Nanotechnology

Modules taught

BIOL3111 - Biomedical Nanotechnology
BIOL5262M - Molecular Diagnostics, Drug Delivery and Therapies
BIOL5262M/CMNS5710M - Molecular Diagnostics/Biosensors and drug delivery
BIOL5272M - Advanced Biomolecular Technologies
BIOL5292M - Bioscience MSc Research Proj
BIOL5294M - MSc Bioscience Res Project Pro
BMSC1213 - Basic Laboratory and Scientific Skills 2
BMSC2233 - Topics in Medical Sciences
BMSC3301 - Research Proj: Biomed Sciences
SPSC1211 - Tutorial and Practical Skills in Sport and Exercise Science

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.

Dr Carolyn Jackson  (Laboratory Manager )

Miss Nicola Maney  (Research Fellow)

Dr Jo Rushworth  (Visiting Research Fellow)


Asif Ahmed  
Kaniz Chowdhury  
Jack Goode  
Natalie Hirst  
Thanisorn Mahatnirunkul  
Hussaini Majiya  
Douglas Pike  
Md. Shihab Uddin Sobuz  
Pattanapong Thangsunan  
James Tiernan  
Forough Torabi Baghkomeh