Chemistry for Health

Researchers in Hull develop imaging and theranostic agents to help treat diseases and improve quality of life.

Professor Steve Archibald
Faculty of Health Sciences
Prof Stephen J. Archibald
Professor in Molecular Imaging

The Challenge

Chemistry is at the heart of collaborative research to treat diseases and improve quality of life.

Researchers in Hull develop imaging and theranostic agents to tackle:

  • drug delivery systems
  • synthesis and evaluation of antimicrobials and anti-cancer agents
  • clinical diagnostics

The Approach

The Chemistry for Health theme encompasses research into imaging & theranostic agents, drug delivery systems, synthesis of antimicrobials and anti-cancer agents, as well as clinical diagnostics.

The approach is a collaborative research with Chemistry at the heart of all activities. Chemistry is the vital discipline thanks to which novel diagnostic, therapeutic and antimicrobial agents are created.



  • New diagnostic and therapeutic agents had been discovered as well as new antimicrobial agents.
  • Output from our PET research have already resulted in a change of practice for NHS radiopharmacy in Hull (REF impact case study).
chemistry large


  • Creating new diagnostic compounds supported by molecular characterisation at the design stage.
  • Delivering new diagnostic and therapeutic agents
  • Creating novel antimicrobials and anti-cancer agents
  • Develop clinical diagnostics systems at the point-of-need and point-of-care to enable access and best treatment options


Biological Sciences Workshop


We want to contribute to the emerging problem in infectious diseases and prevent the “antibiotic apocalypse” – when even an ear infection can be fatal. The focus of ViBrANT is on the adhesion of pathogens to human cells, an underexplored niche that can lead to new understanding, new diagnostics and devices and, eventually, new treatments.

BioMedical Science Lab Portrait

Training scientists to develop and Image materials for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (ITN)

Anna Reynard FHS Biomedical Science Grad at Hull Royal Infirmary

A "Shake and Use" Theranostic System for Combined Radio-imaging and Photodynamic Therapy

(Boyle, Stasiuk)

View all projects
  • New technology to improve capability for clinical radiopharmaceutical production (MRC, Archibald)
  • Daisy Appeal Funding
  • Development of point-of-care and wearable sensors for Hepatitis C diagnostics
  • Newton-Musharafa Fund PhD studentship (Pamme)
  • Photo-activated surface coatings to combat bacterial contamination (Boyle Leverhulme Trust)
  • MICA - Well-characterised monclonal antibody-photosensitiser conjugates for treatmen of head and neck cancer (MRC, Boyle, with UCL)
  • Iron Based Nanoparticles with Tuneable Magnetic and Surface Properties for MRI (Ended 2017 Francesconi – Archibald)
  • Novel Anticancer Theranostic Agents (Ended 2019, Francesconi – Stasiuk)
  • H2020 IMI - Biomarker Enterprise to Attack DKD (BEAt-DKD), European Union, Xu (PI. HYMS) Boa (coI)


Outputs and publications

Molecular imaging, theranostic agents

  • Nucl. Med. 2018, 59, 1092 (Archibald?)
  • Am. Chem. Soc. 2018,140, 16877 (Archibald?)
  • Commun. 2018, 54, 7952 (Boyle)
  • Eng. Comm. 2016, 18, 4977; Inorg. Chem. 2020, 59, 2367 (Archibald Redshaw and Stasiuk)
  • Mater. Chem. B, 2018, 6, 3665 Francesconi
  • Matthew P. Taggart, Mark D. Tarn, Mohammad M. N. Esfahani, Daniel M. Schofield, Nathaniel J. Brown, Stephen J. Archibald, Tom Deakin, Nicole Pamme, Lee F. Thompson, Development of radiodetection systems towards miniaturised quality control of PET and SPECT radiopharmaceuticals, Lab on a Chip, 2016, 16, 1605-1616. doi: 10.1039/c6lc00099a
  • Mark D. Tarn, Dzmitry Maneuski, Richard Alexander, Nathaniel J. Brown, Val O’Shea, Sally L. Pimlott, Nicole Pamme, Stephen J. Archibald, Positron detection in silica monoliths for miniaturised quality control of PET radiotracers, Chemical Communications, 2016, 52, 7221-7224. doi: 10.1039/C6CC00660D
  • Ping He, Steve. J. Haswell, Nicole Pamme, Steve J. Archibald , Quantitative isolation of 68Ga from 68Ge/68Ga generator eluates using strong cation-exchange silica-monolith, Reaction Chemistry and Engineering, 2016, 1, 361-365. doi: 10.1039/C6RE00081A
  • Mark D. Tarn, Mohammad M. N. Esfahani, Nuray Yavuzkanat, Pankaj Joshi, Nathaniel J. Brown, Nicole Pamme, David G. Jenkins, Steve J. Archibald, Plastic scintillator‐based microfluidic devices for miniaturized detection of PET radiopharmaceuticals, Chemistry – A European Journal, 2018, 24, 13749-13753. doi:10.1002/chem.201802395
  • Laila Patinglag, Mohammad M. N. Esfahani, Kishan Ragunathan, Ping He, Nathaniel J. Brown, Stephen J. Archibald, Nicole Pamme, Mark D. Tarn, On-chip electrochemical detection of glucose towards the miniaturised quality control of carbohydrate-based radiotracers, Analyst, 2020, 145, 4920-4930. doi: 10.1039/C9AN01881

Synthesis of antimicrobials and anti-cancer agents

  • Mat. Chem. B. 2017, 5, 1834 (Boyle, antibacterial))
  • Commun., 2017, article number 1575 (Murray, anticancer))
  • Mater. Chem. B, 2019, 7, 3497 (Paunov, leukemia treatment material)
  • Nanoscale, 2019, 11, 10472, Paunov (antibacterial resistance, material?)
  • Chem. Front., 2018, 2, 2032; (Paunov, antimicrobial material?)
  • Nanoscale Adv., 2019, 1, 858 (Paunov, anti-algal anti-yeast material?)
  • Mater. Chem. B, 2019, 7, 3119 (Paunov, antimicrobial material?)
  • RSC Adv., 2017, 7, 20020 (Francesconi, antibacterial material?)
  • The role of whole genome sequencing in characterizing the mechanism of action of para-aminosalicylic acid and its resistance Satta, A. A. Witney, N. Begum, J. O. Canseco, A. N. Boa, and T. D. McHugh, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 2020, doi: 10.1128/AAC.00675-20
  • Interconvertible geometric isomers of Plasmodium falciparum dihydroorotate dehydrogenase inhibitors exhibit multiple binding modes, G.A. McConkey, P.T.P. Bedingfield, D.R. Burrell, N.C. Chambers, F. Cunningham, T.J. Prior, C.W.G. Fishwick and A.N. Boa, Med. Chem. Lett. 2017, 27(16), 3878–3882.
  • N-Cinnamoylanthranilates as human TRPA1 Modulators: Structure-Activity Relationships and Channel Binding Sites, A. Chandrabalan, M. J. McPhillie, A. H. Morice, A. N. Boa, and L. R. Sadofsky, J. Med. Chem. 2019, 170, 141-156. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2019.02.074

Development of measurement systems for clinical diagnostics

  • Olivia Mosley, Louise Melling, Mark D. Tarn, Cordula Kemp, Mohammad M. N. Esfahani, Nicole Pamme, Kirsty J. Shaw, Sample introduction interface for on-chip nucleic acid-based detection of Helicobacter pylori from stool samples, Lab on a Chip, 2016, 16, 2108-2115. doi: 10.1039/C6LC00228E
  • Zahra Ghobaei Namhil, Cordula Kemp, Emanuele Verrelli, Alexander Iles, Nicole Pamme, Ali M. Adawi, Neil T. Kemp, A label-free aptamer-based nanogap capacitive biosensor with significantly diminished electrode polarization effects, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2019, 21, 681-691. doi: 10.1039/C8CP05510F
  • Ruchi Gupta, Nasser Alamrani, Gillian M. Greenway, Nicole Pamme, Nicholas Goddard, A method for determining average iron content of ferritin by measuring its optical dispersion, Analytical Chemistry, 2019, 91, 7366-7372. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.9b01231
  • Nasser Alamrani, Gillian M. Greenway, Nicole Pamme, Nicholas Goddard, Ruchi Gupta, A Feasibility Study of a Leaky Waveguide Aptasensor for Thrombin, Analyst, 2019, 144, 6048-6054. doi; 10.1039/C9AN01421G
  • Bongkot Ngamsom, Ernest A. Wandera, Alexander Iles, Racheal Kimani, Francis Muregi, Jesse Gitaka, Nicole Pamme, Rapid Detection of Group B Streptococcus (GBS) from artificial urine samples based on IFAST and ATP Bioluminescence Assay: from development to practical challenges during protocol testing in Kenya, Analyst, 2019, 144, 6889-6897. doi: 10.1039/C9AN01808E
  • Muhammad Asif, Fazli Rabbi Awan, Qaiser Mahmood Khan, Bongkot Ngamsom, Nicole Pamme, Paper-based analytical devices for colourimetric detection of S. aureus, E. coli and their antibiotic resistant strains in milk, Analyst, 2020, 145, 7320-7329. doi: 10.1039/D0AN01075H

Drug delivery systems

  • Chem Commun, 2016, 52, 4187 Mackenzie
  • Bingyuan Lu, Mark D. Tarn, Nicole Pamme, Theoni K. Georgiou, Microfluidically fabricated pH-responsive anionic amphiphilic microgels for drug release, Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 2016, 4, 3086-3093. doi: 10.1039/C5TB02378E
  • Ali Q. Alorabi, Mark D. Tarn, Jenifer Gómez-Pastora, Eugenio Bringas, Inmaculada Ortiz, Vesselin N. Paunov, Nicole Pamme, On-chip polyelectrolyte coating onto magnetic droplets – towards continuous flow assembly of drug delivery capsules. Lab on a Chip, 2017, 17, 3785-3795. doi: 10.1039/c7lc00918f
  • Bingyuan Lu, Mark D. Tarn, Nicole Pamme, Theoni K. Georgiou, Fabrication of Tailorable pH Responsive Cationic Amphiphilic Microgels on a Microfluidic Device for Drug Release, J. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem. 2018, 56, 59–66. doi:10.1002/pola.28860
Research Students

Vincent Nail

Development of clinical radiochemistry tools for dose-on-demand PET

Stephen J Archibald

Mohammad Ibrahim

Development of point-of-care and wearable sensors for Hepatitis C diagnostics

Nicole Pamme

Louis Plunkett

Microfluidics for electroanalytical biosensing, University of Hull studentship

Nicole Pamme

Pablo Rodriguez Mateos,

Lab on a Chip for Pathogen Analysis

Nicole Pamme

Bradley Doyle

Novel synthesis methods for the production of human circulating metabolites of natural products

Nicole Pamme, Dr Huw Jones

Kamil Talar

Wound-on-a-Chip - a new model for mechanistic wound healing and therapy development

Nicole Pamme, Prof. Matthew Hardman

Ben Filby

Monitoring and Manipulating wound microbiota using bacterial shape recognition

Nicole Pamme, Prof. Matthew Hardman, Prof. Vesco Paunov

Dr A Sellamuthu Kooduthurai

Andrew Boa


Our research impacts the world. Come and join us.

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