My name is Chris Wharton, a retired academic biochemist, now an Emeritus Professor at the University of Birmingham, who worked, during his career, with very hi-tech ( v. expensive!) equipment making measurements of enzyme reaction mechanisms, using primarily spectroscopic, (particularly infrared) & kinetic methods.
Latterly I focussed on the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance.
When I retired I decided to try to design and build much more simple apparatus that would be cheap, easy to build, easy to use. It is largely unrelated to what I did during my career but does involve enzymes and kinetics. The kit will hopefully have application in teaching in schools & in universities as well as more generally in the developing world, e.g. for use in clinical testing in remote locations.
I decided to omit the formal vocabulary & theory of classical conductivity as it can act as a barrier to understanding for those who are unfamiliar with it (like me!).
The alternative to the apparatus described here is the micro/nanotechnology approach. For large scale manufacture this approach is the obvious one. The pro' & con's are discussed later in this presentation.
Without doubt the most impressive developments in microsensor systems have been the amperometric* blood glucose analysis kits. In my view these are streaks ahead of any other system owing to the pressure of demand for diabetes testing.
I was able to purchase such a kit for £15 that is fully automated (except the blood taking) & robust for clinical analysis, which is very demanding.
*amperometric detection involves a chemical redox reaction at an electrode (detection of hydrogen peroxide for the glucose analyser). By contrast in conductivity measurements there is no chemical change
I would like to thank Drs Eva Hyde & Michael O'Donnell for help with this project.
The Proverbial 'Cabin or Shed' - where the work is done!