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Personal profile


Helen holds a Royal Academy of Engineering/EPSRC Fellowship investigating the detection of waterborne pathogens. Prior to joining Heriot-Watt she held this Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh. She obtained her PhD entitled "Techniques to manipulate the environment around and inside single cells" from Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden in 2008. This interdisciplinary project developed a miniaturised fluidic device for studying biological signalling.


Between her Phd and starting the Fellowship Helen worked as the Knowledge Transfer Officer for the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences, brokering collaborations between mathematicians and industry as well as other academic disciplines. She was also the Life Sciences Programme Tutor at the International Study Centre at Heriot-Watt. Helen has also worked on a biosensors project in the Textor Research Group at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, and for Mitsubishi Electric AB on an MSc thesis project entitled "Future Display Technologies".


Summer 2012 she has been awarded a British Science Association Media Fellowship and will be spending 3 weeks at the Scotsman as a science journalist.

Research interests

Novel Materials for Sample Processing


When monitoring for waterborne pathogens, sample processing is a key step to enrich and isolate the pathogen of interest from the huge amount of particulate matter in water. In this area, we are currently working with protozoan pathogens and studying their interactions with new polymer materials. We aim to understand the factors controlling pathogen adhesion and explore applications of high performing polymers.


(in collaboration with Professor Mark Bradley, University of Edinburgh. Funded by University of Edinburgh)



Detection of Waterborne Pathogens using Biosensors


This project is investigating different biosensor technologies for the detection of pathogens. In the initial stages we have characterised the surface modifications necessary for pathogen recognition. Additionally, we are working on detection using microfluidic cantilevers. 


(in collaboration with Dr Will Shu, IB3) 



Detection of Waterborne Pathogens using Raman Spectroscopy


This project is investigating the use of Raman spectroscopy for the detection of pathogens, to identify species and viability.


(in collaboration with Dr Andy Downes, University of Edinburgh)



Microfluidic Technologies for Pathogen Enrichment 


Brian Miller is working on this project investigating microfluidics for the concentration and separation of protozoan pathogens. A recent Heriot-Watt Crucible award has also enabled collaboration with modellers and other potential end-users of microfluidic separation technologies.


(Funded by: BBSRC Industrial Case Award with Scottish Water; Royal Society Research Grant; Heriot-Watt Crucible.)



Influence of nanoparticles on protozoan pathogens


The potential toxicity of nanoparticles on protozoan pathogens has not been previously investigated. This project aims to study the impact of different nanomaterials on the pathogen Cryptosporidium.


(in collaboration with Dr Pamela Cameron (Moredun) and Dr Birgit Gaiser (Heriot-Watt). Funded by Heriot-Watt Crucible. )



Aquavalens: Protecting the health of Europeans by improving methods for the detection of pathogens in drinking water and water used in food preparation 


This large-scale collaborative project has 38 partners and aims to develop detection platforms, based on molecular methods, for a wide range of waterborne pathogens. Start date: early 2013. 


(Funded by the EU)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Helen Bridle is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Microfluidics Medicine & Life Sciences
Pathogens Engineering & Materials Science
Technology Medicine & Life Sciences
Protozoa Engineering & Materials Science
Drinking Water Medicine & Life Sciences
Cryptosporidium Medicine & Life Sciences
Water Medicine & Life Sciences
Giardia lamblia Medicine & Life Sciences

Co Author Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2005 2019

Monitoring of drinking water quality using automated ATP quantification

Hansen, C. B., Kerrouche, A., Tatari, K., Rasmussen, A., Ryan, T., Summersgill, P., Desmulliez, M. P. Y., Bridle, H. & Albrechtsen, H. J., Oct 2019, In : Journal of Microbiological Methods. 165, 105713.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Water Quality
Drinking Water
Polymethyl Methacrylate

Following Up on Interdisciplinary Encounters: Benefits for Early Career Researchers

Bridle, H., Oct 2018, In : European Review. 26, S2, p. S6-S20 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
interdisciplinary research

Giardia duodenalis in the UK: Current knowledge of risk factors and public health implications

Horton, B., Bridle, H., Alexander, C. L. & Katzer, F., 15 Oct 2018, In : Parasitology.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Giardia lamblia
public health
Infectious Disease Transmission
risk factors

High capture efficiency of lectin surfaces for Cryptosporidium parvum biosensors

Gavriilidou, D. & Bridle, H., 15 Jul 2018, In : Biochemical Engineering Journal. 135, p. 79-82 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Potable water

Impact of poloxamer 188 (Pluronic F-68) additive on cell mechanical properties, quantification by real-time deformability cytometry

Guzniczak, E., Jimenez, M., Irwin, M., Otto, O., Willoughby, N. & Bridle, H., 22 Aug 2018, In : Biomicrofluidics. 12, 4, 044118.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

mechanical properties
Mechanical properties


Member of the RSE Young Academy of Scotland

Helen Bridle (Recipient), 2012

Prize: Election to learned society