Synergy of material- and bio- sciences

The Material- and Biosciences Group, led by AIBN Director and ARC Laureate Fellow Professor Alan Rowan, brings together the seemingly distant disciplines of physics material- and bio- sciences to understand the intricacies of cell behaviour and their extracellular environments.

Comprised of scientists with backgrounds in cell biology, chemistry, physics and materials science the Biomaterials Group tackles the fundamental biophysical questions behind cell and extracellular matrix behaviour.

With access to state-of-the-art equipment within the group and in AIBN, we are taking the challenge of understanding how exactly the material properties of the extracellular matrices are translated into intracellular response and signalling. For this reason, we are focused on the synthesis of synthetic polymeric, well-defined natural and hybrid matrices and the development of methodologies on how to study the cell–material interactions in close detail.






In the fields of biomimetic catalysis and functional materials, our group has had the privilege of working with some of world’s best departments and institutes: ISIS Strasbourg, Imperial College London, Cambridge University and Oxford University, Max Plank Mainz Germany and KULeuven Belgium, all renowned Centres of academic excellence. This includes collaborations with, and mentorship from, leading figures in the field such as Prof C.A. Hunter, Prof R.J.M Nolte, Prof R. Friend, Prof K. Muellen and Nobel Laureate Prof J.M. Lehn. Key international collaborators include; Prof. M. Stevens (Imperial College, London), Prof. F. Macintosh (UVA Amsterdam), Prof O. Ikkala (University of Helsinki), Prof J. Hofkens (KULeuven Belgium), Prof M. Mueller (Aachen Germany), Dr. Kerstin Blank (Max Plank Institute, Potsdam), Prof. Stefan Egelhaaf (HHU, Dusseldorf). In addition to academic collaboration our group is also involved in collaborations with industrial partners, NovioTech and NovioSense (Nijmegen, The Netherlands).

*articles with star directly relate to our current research focus