Research Highlights

Below you can find highlights of some of our most recent research accomplishments. Watch this space for more spotlights on our exciting interdisciplinary research.


Quantum dots fluoroscent

i-sense researchers are developing a new way to rapidly detect genetic barcodes for tuberculosis in the blood.

* Gliddon, H.D., Howes, P.D., Kaforou, M., Levin, M., Stevens, M.M. 'A nucleic acid strand displacement system for the multiplexed detection of tuberculosis-specific mRNA using quantum dots' Nanoscale (2016); DOI: 10.1039/C6NR00484A

flu cdc brown

The latest research from i-sense's collaboration with Google to develop the Google Flu Trends model and support a more accurate picture of influenza-like illness in the UK.

Lampos, V., Miller, A.C., Crossan, S., Stefansen, C. 'Advances in nowcasting influenza-like influenza rates using search query logs', Scientific Reports (2015)

Health intervention internet data graphic

i-sense, UCL, Public Health England (PHE) and Microsoft researchers have proven the effectiveness of LAIV, an England-wide flu vaccination programme, by analysing tweets and Bing search queries.

* Lampos, V., Yom-Tov, E., Pebody, R. & Cox, I.J. 'Assessing the impact of a health intervention via user-generated Internet content' Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery (2015)


i-sense's Flusurvey collaborators Clare Wenham and John Edmunds discuss the evidence and suggest that the influenza vaccine may have been more effective during 2014's flu season, than previously estimated.

Wenham, C. and Edmunds, J. 'How effective is this year's flu vaccine' BMJ Blogs, (2015)

A comprehensive overview of the use of specialised nanomaterials as diagnostic tools and their applications in the global healthcare system by i-sense and Imperial College researchers.* 

* Howes, P.D. et al, 'Colloidal nanoparticles as advanced biological sensors' Science, 346, 1247390–1247390 (2014); DOI: 10.1126/science.1247390

i-sense and Imperial College researchers discuss the state of the art in biosensors, based on plasmonic nanomaterials. which are capable of detecting specific biomarkers corresponding to various disease states.*

* Howes, P.D. et al, 'Plasmonic Nanomaterials for Biodiagnostics' Chem. Soc. Rev., 43, 3835–3853 (2014); DOI: 10.1039/C3CS60346F

Microsoft, UCL and i-sense researchers investigate how Twitter and search engine data generated at mass gatherings, such as music festivals, can alert to possible outbreaks of infectious diseases more rapidly than traditional health surveillance.*

Yom-Tov, E. et al, 'Detecting Disease Outbreaks in Mass Gatherings Using Internet Data' Journal of Medical Internet Research16(6):e154, (2014); DOI: 10.2196/jmir.315

A novel method for the rapid and ultrasensitive detection of antibiotics in the blood, paving the way for applications within drug development and personalised medicine.*

* Ndieyira, J. W. et al, 'Surface-stress sensors for rapid and ultrasensitive detection of active free drugs in human serum' Nature Nanotechnology9, 225–232 (2014); DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2014