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Translating developed biochemical methods for non-adherence diagnosis into primary care

What we are doing:

The scope of the PhD is to evaluate current biochemical approaches for non-adherence detection in cardiometabolic diseases, and develop new technologies for translation into primary care. The overall aims are to: evaluate current methods for non-adherence detection; develop and validate a rapid approach for quantitation of medications from patient samples; explore nanotechnology for point-of-care testing. The PhD is broken into sections, and completion thereof will lead to increased research in the field and translated methodologies into routine practice.

Why we are doing it:

Non-adherence is the behavior of a person who does not align with a health-care practitioner’s advice. People who are non-adherent to their cardiometabolic disease medications are at increased risk to poor long-term outcomes such as hospitilisation and all-cause mortality. Using various approaches, adherence can be detected. However, current methods are slow, unstandardised, and prone to bias. My PhD aims to address these issues by improving and developing novel biochemical approaches to detect medications in patients’ urine and blood, thereby confirming drug ingestion. These methods will be translated for use in primary and secondary care, adding useful tools for non-adherence diagnosis.

What the benefits will be:

Cardiometabolic diseases umbrella various conditions, spanning from type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) to hypertension. These conditions combined are the most prevalent of any disease state, where millions are afflicted in the UK alone. Furthermore, non-adherence is pandemic throughout these conditions, with up to a third of people with T2DM exhibiting the behavior. Increasing adherence rates will decrease the likelihood of hospitilisation and mortality. Through the development of diagnosis methods with higher accuracy, speed, and portability, the non-adherent may be better identified and behavior can be addressed sooner.

Who we are working with:

Research is taking alongside the National Centre for Drug Adherence Testing (NCAT) based in the University Hospitals of Leicester. I am also working with the Leicester Diabetes Centre (LDC), the Leicester Biotechnology Group (LBG), and I have affiliation to the Leicester Cardiovascular Research Centre (CRC).

My supervisors are Dr Pankaj Gupta (NCAT), Prof. Kamlesh Khunti (LDC), and Prof. Donald Jones (CRC). With the LBG, Prof. Sergey Piletsky is providing support.


Dan Lane, PhD student, University of Leicester,


Image by Nebraska Department of Education from Pixabay