Femtosecond Laser Ablation (LA) and Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) system

Diagnostics research

Explore more about our contribution to early detection of cancer and tissue degeneration diseases

We develop novel technologies for disease diagnosis at an early pre-symptomatic stage using a synergistic combination of gold nanostructures and unique Raman spectroscopic techniques.

Raman spectroscopy offers the potential to improve the accuracy of diagnosis for certain types of cancer by detecting subtle changes in the molecular of the affected tissue or blood samples. The advantage of this technique is that it is non-invasive and it can provide real-time information about the chemical composition of tissues, allowing for easy and early detection of changes associated with cancer development. Raman can also be used in the early detection of tissue degeneration diseases such as osteoarthritis.

Current research topics

  • Noninvasive Cancer imaging: locating cancer tumour in vivo 
  • Biosensing: disease biomarker detection from tissue biopsies and liquid biopsies
  • Plasmonic biosensors: Gold nanostructures and their controlled assemblies as signal boosters and sensors for disease diagnosis.


  • Queen Mary University London
  • National Physical Laboratory (NPL)
  • University of Bath
  • University of Surrey

Our members

Priyanka Dey Portrait

Dr Priyanka Dey

Senior Lecturer


Faculty of Science and Health

PhD Supervisor

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Susanna Maria Van Der Merwe Portrait

Dr Marisa Van Der Merwe

Interim Associate Dean (Academic)


School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

Faculty of Science and Health

PhD Supervisor

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Publications highlights

Research groups

Discover our areas of expertise

Biomaterials for tissue engineering is one of areas of expertise in the Pharmacy, Pharmacology and Biomedical Sciences research area. Explore the others here.

Biomaterials for tissue engineering

We work at developing products that will be used in the repair of damaged tissue, in particular cartilage, bone, tendons and muscles.

16th & 17th January 2019
Centre for Enzyme Innovation Bid
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Nanomaterials for Drug and Gene Delivery

We're helping to create targeted, safe and effective medicines to positively impact patients' lives.

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Theory, Modelling and Drug Design

Discover how our research identifies new drug molecules and improves drug design

SHSSW photo shoot, November 2018
Nursing, Operating Department Practice (ODP) and Paramedic Science students.
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Molecular mechanisms of diseases

We're exploring the molecules and molecular processes that cause diseases, and working to develop better treatments.

Molecular structure model
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Interested in a PhD in Pharmacy, Pharmacology and Biomedical Sciences?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Pharmacy, Pharmacology and Biomedical Sciences postgraduate research degrees page.