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PhD projects

Chemical/bio-sensors, microfluidics, high-throughput analysis, hydrogels, sample preparation, acoustics, dielectrophoresis, computational fluid dynamics


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

My research is in study of analytical tools/techniques, and spans from fundamental science through engineering to translational activities. 

Research in my group can be divided into three themes, which are described below.

  1. Optical bio/chemical sensors: We are studying integraction of light with light and/or matter to maximise overlap between light and analytes to be measured. We have applied this understanding to develop novel leaky waveguide and interferometric bio/chemical sensors. We are interested in measuring proteins, DNA, small molecules, and microbes.
  2. Sample preparation: We are developing electrokinetic methods as well as hydrogels for concentrating analytes to be measured, and in many cases, removing interferents. One of our aims is to develop our hydrogels as lozenges to enable measurement of salivary biomarkers for early cancer detection.
  3. Fluid manipulation: We are studying shaping of acoustic beams for manipulation of droplets in mid-air and hydrophobic surfaces to perform high-throughput chemical and biological assays.


Dr Gupta attended Nanyang Technological University, Singapore for her undergraduate studies on a prestigious SIA-NOL scholarship and subsequently received an IEEE Reliability/CPMT/ED Chapter (Singapore) book prize. She completed her MASc at McMaster University (Canada) where she developed the basic components of generic and programmable microfluidics. This project bridged chemical, biological and computational sciences, and resulted in the award of first runner-up of the Brian L. Barge Award of Excellence in Microsystems Integration. Her MASc thesis won Radisav Stevanoic Book prize.

Her PhD at the University of Manchester (UK) was funded by Syngenta and focused on developing electroseparation methods for sample preparation and analysis of self-digesting bagasse reliably to produce biofuels from waste (rather than food crops). Her PhD research received cash prizes from the RSC including the Electroseparations Group, and the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). 

Dr Gupta’s research as a Postdoctoral Research Associate and later as a Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) Enterprise Fellow developed optical chemial-/bio-sensors, studied mechanisms of light propagation in hydrogels, as well as investigated their applications.

She was a Lecturer in Analytical Chemistry at University of Hull between 2014 and 2016 before joining University of Birmingham in 2017.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Analysis of cellulose degrading enzymes in genetically modified sugarcane juice using capillary electrophoretic techniques, University of Manchester

Award Date: 1 Dec 2011

Master in Science, Microfluidic logic devices, McMaster University

Award Date: 31 Aug 2007

Bachelor of Engineering, Titanium dioxide thin films with photoinduced antimicrobial activities, Nanyang Technological University

Award Date: 30 Jun 2005


  • QD Chemistry
  • Analytical
  • Sensors
  • Microfluidics
  • Hydrogels
  • Sample preparation
  • Dielectrophoresis
  • Electrokinetic methods
  • QC Physics
  • Optics
  • Acoustics


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