The BDI’s scientific challenge lies primarily, though not exclusively, in creating miniaturised systems in which the presence of low concentrations of target biomarkers can be reliably detected in small volumes of biological samples. The integration of a range of scientific and engineering disciplines required for the development of these diagnostic devices, combined with the integration of clinical, industrial and academic expertise, is a key and unique feature of the BDI. To date, this work has resulted in : close-to-market solutions for decentralised bioanalytical testing which can be comparatively swiftly and flexibly customised to the specific needs of clients ; sensor development ; bio-recognition through antibody engineering and high-sensitivity signal detection ; novel materials and interfacial engineering ; as well as design and manufacture of microfluidic »Lab-on-a-Chip« technologies.
In collaboration with its sister institutes hosted within DCU – National Centre for Sensor Research (NCSR), Nanobioanalytical Research Facility (NRF) and the National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology (NICB) – and with other DCU based academic faculties and research centres, BDI continues to make fundamental advances in basic science that can form the nucleus of commercial products. Researchers in physics, for example, have led the development of high-brightness nanoparticles that can greatly enhance the sensitivity of detection systems. In biotechnology, links with clinicians have enabled the discovery and characterisation of biomarkers for disease; there is also profound expertise in the design and production of antibodies with high specificity and sensitivity. Through DCU’s Schools of Chemical Sciences and Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering, BDI has access to leading research on smart materials and advances in classical and novel additive manufacturing schemes that are highly relevant to the design and production of bioanalytical devices.