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Dr Cuong Cao is a Lecturer in Advanced Micro- and Nano-Diagnostics. His research has been dedicated to bringing together elements from micro- and nanofabrication, applied physics, analytical chemistry, and biology which is truly multidisciplinary in nature. His original research articles have been mostly published in leading, high impact journals such as Advanced Materials, ACS Nano, Small, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, Water Research, Lab on a Chip, etc

Dr Cao research focuses on three main research topics exploiting cutting-edge micro- and nano-technologies to address these global challenges:

  1. Synthesis and fabrication of optically-active materials using both top-down and bottom-up approaches to provide high quality plasmonic nanomaterials for biosensing.  
  2. Development of nanoplasmonics-based biosensing platforms, including but not limited to SPR, LSPR, SERS, and particle-based detections.
  3. Development of point-of-care analyses: we aim to incorporate and transfer molecular diagnostic techniques and nanoplasmonic transducers on to compact lab-on-a-chip formats. 
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Open to PhD applications from those with at least a 2.1 degree (or equivalent) in the biological/veterinary/medical sciences and interested in infectious disease, parasitology, functional genomics and the exploitation and development of new ‘omics’ technologies for drug discovery/disease control.   

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Research Students

PhD title: Peroxidase-mimicking nanomaterials for mercury detection in water samples

Name: Natasha Logan

Years of Study: 2016-2019

Country: UK

PhD title: Plasmonic foodsmartphone assay for food spoilage microorganisms

Name: Javier Lou Franco

Years of Study: 2017-2020

Country: Spain

PhD title: A development of sensor-based diagnostics for animal health applications (co-supervising with Dr Mark Mooney)

Name: Michaela Crummy

Years of Study: 2016-2019

Country: UK

PhD title: Development and evaluation of a paper-based microfluidic device to detect and differentiate Mycobacterium tuberculosis (co-supervising with Dr Linda Stewart)

Name: Brendan Gilbride

Years of Study: 2018-2020

Country: UK

Alumni: where are they now?

Dr Clare McVey 

Current position: - Queen’s University of Belfast



  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Serving as independent reviewer for journals: Small, Nanoscale, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, Analytical Biochemistry, Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Sensors, Analytica Chimica Acta, Journal of Applied Microbiology, International Journal of Food Microbiology, etc


Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences

School of Biological Sciences

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