Dr. Hesketh's research interests are in Sensors and Micro/Nano-electro-mechanical Systems (MEMS/NEMS). Many sensors are built by micro/nanofabrication techniques and this provides a host of advantages including lower power consumption, small size and light weight. The issue of manipulation of the sample in addition to introduce it to the chemical sensor array is often achieved with microfluidics technology. Combining photolithographic processes to define three-dimensional structures can accomplish the necessary fluid handling, mixing, and separation through chromatography. For example, demonstration of miniature gas chromatography and liquid chromatography with micromachined separation columns demonstrates how miniaturization of chemical analytical methods reduces the separation time so that it is short enough, to consider the measurement equivalent to "read-time" sensing.
A second focus area is biosensing. Professor Hesketh has worked on a number of biomedical sensors projects, including microdialysis for subcutaneous sampling, glucose sensors, and DNA sensors. Magnetic beads are being investigated as a means to transport and concentrate a target at a biosensor interface in a microfluidic format, in collaboration with scientists at the CDC.
His research interests also include nanosensors, nanowire assembly by dielectrophoresis; impedance based sensors, miniature magnetic actuators; use of stereolithography for sensor packaging. He has published over sixty papers and edited fifteen books on microsensor systems.