Scientists hope to have found a key to help them unlock the mysteries of the human ageing process.

The team from the University of Brighton are developing a sensor which can help monitor molecules that damage cells and contribute to the way people get older.

The molecules are also blamed for the development of diseases like diabetes, kidney failure, heart disease and cancer.

The university has been awarded a £94,000 research grant from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council to continue its work.

Later this year the university will host a workshop for scientists from around the UK to showcase the sensor.

Project leader Bhavik Patel is a senior lecturer in the university’s School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences.

He said: “We are confident our research will benefit UK bioscience and advance scientific development in the study of ageing both nationally and internationally.”

The research project is expected to run until autumn 2014.