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Testing our tiny tech

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By Ben Miller, UCL

My Mobility Fellowship aimed to increase the sensitivity of gold nanoparticle (AuNP) and fluorescence-based microfluidic paper analytical devices (μPADs), exploring paper membrane transparency, nanoparticle selection, and readout methods.
The project formed links between the McKendry (UCL) and Ozcan (UCLA) groups with the aim of future collaboration on optical device design.

As part of the Mobility Fellowship, a smartphone-attached reader was developed for lateral flow tests, employing a background subtraction technique that was also a result of this Fellowship. The reader was produced at UCLA and will be tested back at UCL.

The opportunity to go and work in a different lab, with a slightly more electrical engineering based approach helped me to look at the project from a different perspective, gaining new insights. I was able to greatly improve my knowledge of optics, and the process of designing a smartphone optical device. I had the opportunity to work with and learn from people with different backgrounds and experience. On a personal note, it was brilliant to visit America for the first time, and get a chance to see some of the beautiful scenery in California.