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Department of Chemistry

Dr Ritu Kataky

Personal web page

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42091
College Mentor of St Mary's College

(email at

Research Interests

Materials for sensing, delivery of actives and drugs

We use liposomes, gels and nanomaterials for in-vivo and in-vitro sensing and delivery. The aim is to develop materials that are biocompatible and ’soft’ for replacing solid state devices. The picture on the left shows a PEDOT/CNT modified biocompatible hydrogel which is electrochemical and mechano sensitive.

This work additionally extends to collaborative work with Procter and Gamble for delivery of actives.

Electrochemical measurement of electron and ion transport at liquid-liquid interfaces

Electrochemistry at the liquid‑liquid interface or the interface between two immiscible electrolyte solutions (ITIES) is a simple model of the biological membrane. It provides a means to study the transfer of a wide range of compounds. These electrochemical processes are especially interesting as they can provide information about the non-redox-active species, whole cells, bioactive molecules and ions. We have used the liquid liquid interfac for studying chiral interctions between drugs and proteins, lipid‑bioactive molecule interactions amongst others.

Current collaborative work with Procter and Gamble extends to studying detergency at a liquid-liquid interface.

Interactions of lipid membranes and cell mimics with bioactive molecules

Electron and ion transfer properties of supported and black lipid membranes modified with membrane associated molecules are studied using electrochemistry, impedance spectroscopy and Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy.

CV (50 mVs-1) and EIS (Nyquist plot) of tBLM in 0.25 mM NAD+, using HEPES buffer (pH7.4) as background obtained for scans between -1.0 to +1.2V (vs. Ag|AgCl, KCl 3.5M). 

CV (50 mVs-1) and EIS (Nyquist plot) of tBLM modified with UQ10 in 0.25 mM NAD+, using HEPES buffer (pH7.4) as background obtained for scans between -1.0 to +1.2V (vs. Ag|AgCl, KCl 3.5M). 

Developing sensors and biosensors for environmental, clinical and pharmaceutical monitoring.

We have developed sensors electrochemical sensors for a wide range of applications in novel formats includingchiral sensors, multi‑analyte sensing platforms microelectrode arrays, chemically responsive micro grippers, sensors for formaldehyde monitoring amongst others.

The picture on the left shows real time measurements of dynamic Ca+ release from Arabidopsis roots in response to temperature stress

The picture on the right shows a microgripper that can be operated in air in in liquid environments without inducing electrolysis. It produces large deflections (up to 262 microns) at low voltage (1.94V) and low power (78mW). Micromanipulation experiments have successfully demonstrated the gripping, holding and positioning of a micro sized object.

The picture below shows a flow-through microelectrode array.

The set of electrodes imbedded in PDMS microfluid channels can be used to perform in flow measurements as shown in the CV an CA analysis below

The group has a range of instruments for electrochemical measurements, impedance spectroscopy, spectroelectrochemistry (UV‑VIS, near IR, Raman), Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy and Scanning Kelvin Probe Microscopy. In our work we use a wide range of other facilities as AFM, TEM, SEM, white light interferometry, micro fabrication facilities, and contact angle measurements available as dictated by our research.

Additionally we have used electrochemistry for charactersing molecular wires and nanoporous structures.

Selected references

  1. Electron transport in supported and tethered lipid bilayers modified with bio- electroactive molecules; Rui Campos and Ritu Kataky, J. Phys. Chem. B, 2012, 116 (13), pp 3909–3917. DOI:
  2. Chiral interactions of the drug propranolol and α1 acid glycoprotein at a micro Liquid-liquid Interface, Paula Lopes; Ritu Kataky, Anal. Chem. 2012, 84(5), 2299−2304, DOI:
  3. Chiral acid selectivity displayed by PEDOT electropolymerised in presence of chiral molecules. Y.Sulaiman, R.Kataky., Analyst, 2012, 137 (10), 2386 – 2393;DOI:
  4. Non-invasive monitoring of temperature stress in Arabidopsis thaliana roots, using ion amperometry             ; Y.Sulaiman, M.R.Knight, R.Kataky, Anal Methods, 4, 1656–1661. DOI:
  5. Effect of monomer modifications on the physical properties of  Electropolymerised PEDOT Films, Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 159 (2) F1-F9 (2011).
  6. A Liposome-doped hydrogel for implantable applications. Anil Suri, a Rui Campos, a Darius G. Rackus,a Nicholas J.S. Spiller,a Christine Richardson,b Lars-Olof Pålsson,a and Ritu Kataky, Soft Matter, 2011, 7 (15), 7071 – 7077
  7. A thermally actuated microgripper as an electrochemical sensor with the ability to manipulate single cells ‘. Rachael Daunton, Andrew Gallant, David Wood and Ritu Kataky Chem. Commun., 2011, 47, 6446–6448. DOI: 10.1039/C1CC11904D.
  8. A  Gramicidin Analogue that exhibits redox potential dependent cation flux. T.J. Jackson, J. M. Sanderson and R.Kataky, Sensors and Actuators B 130 ,2008,630-637.
  9. “Emulsion-templated porous materials (PolyHIPEs) for selective ion and molecular recognition and transport: applications in electrochemical sensing” Chuntian Zhao, Ekram Danish, Neil R. Cameron, Ritu Kataky., J. Mater. Chem., 2007, 17, 2446 – 2453.
  10. Towards multifunctional microelectrode arrays, Francisco. A. Aguiar,  Mark. C. Rosamond, David Wood and Ritu Kataky’, The Analyst, 2008, 133, 1060 – 1063.
  11. Chiral resolution of R and S 1 phenylethanol on Glassy Carbon Electrodes; : Ritu Kataky Lisa Murphy, Alice Delcourt-Lancon,; Shilpa Kalakuntala, Paula Lopes, J.Electroanalytical Chemistry, 633 (2009) 57–62.
  12. "Electrochemical Chiral Sensing, Ritu Kataky, Paula Lopes, Chem Commun (Hot Article), 2009, 1490-1492.
  13. Voltage and structure dependent self-assembly and electron-transfer properties of rigid rod molecular wires., Francisco A. Aguiar, Rui Campos, Changsheng Wang, Rukkiat Jitchati, Andrei S. Batsanov, Martin R. Bryce and Ritu Kataky.,  Phys.Chem.Chem.Phys., 2010, 12, 44, 14804-14811.
  14. Modification of the chiral selectivity of D-glucose oxidase and L-lactate oxidase in a collagen matrix.,Ruzniza Md Zawawi, Ritu Kataky, PCCP, 2010, 12, 9183–9187.
  15. Potential of enzyme mimics in biomimetic sensors:  a modified – cyclodextrin as a dehydrogenase enzyme mimic  E. Morgan., R. Kataky, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 18, 2003, 1407-1417.
  16. Cyclodextrin-modified biosensors: comparision of cyclodextrin-linked ferrocenes as mediators in sol-gel and screen-printed formats for sensing acetylcholine, R. Kataky, R. Dell, P.K. Senanayake, The Analyst, 126 (11), 2001, 2015-2019.

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