Monday, 5 December 2016

Symposium on Multifunctional Biomaterials for Medicine

Mischa Zelzer gave a keynote lecture at the Helmholtz Virtual Institute Symposium on Multifunctional Biomaterials for Medicine on the 27th - 29th Nov. The symposium took place at the Otto Bock Science Center in Berlin which provided a very enjoyable and relaxed atmosphere mixed with interesting insights into the design of limb prostheses. The scientific program was excellent, with a series of international speakers providing excellent presentation on a variey of aspects related to the interaction of materials, proteins and cells. The event was rounded off by excellent food and a memorable conference dinner on a boat.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Sebastiaan has passed his viva

Congratulations to Sebastiaan for defending his thesis. All the best for the Postdoc position in France! Enjoy the food (and wine) on the continent ...

Monday, 21 November 2016

Hala presents at the AVS in Nashville

Hala attend the AVS 63rd International Symposium & Exhibition which addressed the latest advances of cutting-edge issues associated with materials, processing, and interfaces in the research and manufacturing communities. The conference was held at the Music City Centre in Nashville, Tennessee, November 6th – 11th 2016.

The conferences technical program provided a cutting-edge content over a very broad range of complementary topics; thus bringing together the best and brightest from academia, industry, and government research labs around the world.

Hala presented her work on the 10th November in the “Synthesis and Processing of Biomaterials/ Biologically Inspired Materials” session. The title of her talk was “Controlled Peptide Surfaces of Various ratios that Guide Neural Stem cell Differentiation”.

The Royal Society of Chemistry, The Institute of Physics, and the Graduate School at the University of Nottingham provided the financial support for Hala to attend AVS 63rd international conference.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Welcome to Rachael

Rachael Smith has started her PhD with the CDT in Targeted and Advanced Therapeutics. For her training project, Rachael has joined the Zelzer group where she will work in a team with other CDT students (Kaoutar Bouzinab and Akmal Sabri) and academics (Frankie Rawson, Giuseppe Mantovani, Snow Stolnik) on the analysis of supported lipid bilayers.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Mike passed his viva!

Congratulations to Michael Taylor for successfully defending his thesis. We wish him all the best and hope he will enjoy his postdoc in the US.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Sebastiaan presents at SIMS Europe 2016

Sebastiaan attended SIMS Europe 2016 which took place in Münster, Germany, from September 18 to 20, 2016. The SIMS Europe conferences alternate with the biennial International SIMS Conferences and is attended by an increasing number of participants, exceeding 250 in the past years. It covers the complete breadth of development and applications in SIMS and strongly covers the trend towards imaging applications of SIMS.

Sebastiaan gave an oral presentation titled ‘3D ToF-SIMS Imaging of Primary Cell Cultures’ in which he showcased aspects of his PhD work, notably the development of data analysis tools for large 3D ToF-SIMS images and preparation protocols for ToF-SIMS analysis that preserve the cell morphology. His talk was well received and allowed him to start building a reputation outside of his current institutional network as well as establish new collaborations.

The Analytical Chemistry Trust Fund of the Royal Society of Chemistry supported Sebastiaan's trip with a travel grant.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Group outings

How many group activities can we pack into one week? Last week the Zelzer group enjoyed a great afternoon of scientific presentations and discussions followed by an excellent group dinner at the Marrakesh that was not only very tasty but left more than one of us with a take away bag for the next day. Two days later, we had our group BBQ outing. The weather played along nicely, so we enjoyed loads of grilled food, a variety of homemade sauces and tasty deserts in the great outdoors.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Sunny wins 2nd poster prize at LBSA conference

The Laboratory of Biophysics and Surface Analysis (LBSA) at the Univeristy of Nottingham has held its first conference on 1st July. Excellent speakers from other departments at the University delivered keynote lectures for each session, followed by great talks from LBSA researchers. A poster session rounded the day off; Sunny won second place in the poster competition. Congratulations!

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Zelzer Group at the Gordon Research Conference

Mischa Zelzer recently attended the Gordon Research Conference on Biointerface Science which was held at Les Diablerets, Switzerland. It was a chance to catch up on the latest research in this field as well as present the group's recent discovery (published in Chem Comm, 2016) that the way gels form can be influenced by the surface of the vessel they are formed in. This discovery is important as gels have a variety of uses in fields as diverse as regenerative medicine and catalysis due to their ability to self heal, mimic biological functions and form very precise nano-structures. Therefore, understanding their formation is important in order to fully harness their capabilities.

The conference had a wide variety of internationally leading speakers and as is always the case with GRC, there was plenty of time to network and socialise between the presentations. Les Diablerets itself is a pretty little alpine village where the weather is pretty cool for summer (10-15°C) but with stunning mountain views. It was certainly a very vibrant meeting with a wide breath of topics within the biointerface science research community.

Monday, 20 June 2016

International Student Akmal Sabri wins Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship for a PhD at the University of Nottingham

Congratulations to Akmal Sabri, a former summer project student at the Zelzer Group who is a recipient of the highly competitive University of Nottingham Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship for Research Excellence (International). This scholarship is awarded to just 50 international students across the University. Akmal will be part of the CDT in Targeted and Advanced Therapeutics. His work during his summer placement was funded by the RSC and contributed to a publication in Chem Comm on the effect of surface properties on the self-assembly of a low molecular weight gelator. Our best wishes are with him as he starts his PhD and of course we will all remember the rare and very delicious Malaysian sweets that he shared with us during the Summer barbecue of 2015!

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Welcome to Rebeca and Emanuele

Rebeca Obenza-Otero and Emanuele Russo, both part of the CDT in Targeted and Advanced Therapeutics at the University of Nottingham, have joined the Zelzer group for their PhD projects. Their projects will aim to design enzyme responsive polymer hydrogels able to participate in the regulation of biological processes. Rebeca will tailor her approach to address challenges in the healing of chronic wounds while Emanuele will focus on using his materials towards the management of brain cancer.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Welcome to Dan

Dan Merryweather has joined the Zelzer group for a 2 month training project as part of his Regenerative Medicine CDT PhD program. Dan will work on establishing processes to prepare peptide surfaces via plasma deposition. The project is a collaboration with Kirsty McKay from the University of Liverpool where translation of the peptide plasma deposition processes to a plasma jet technology will be explored.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Anne and Arianna published their paper

Anne Canning and Arianna Pasquazi developed new polypeptides and studied how variations in the composition of the two amino acids they used affects the ability of the polypeptides to form secondary structures. They showed that by tuning the polymer composition, the extent of secondary structure formation could be controlled. This work gives us a better control over the final properties of polypeptides which are investigated in the Zelzer group as new functional and biomimetic materials. The paper was published in the Journal of Polymer Science A: Polymer Chemistry.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Science in the Park 2016


As part of British Science Week, Maria, Mike and Anne attended Science in the Park on the 19th March organised by the Nottingham branch of the British Science Association.

The science fair was held at Wollaton Hall, which is also well known as the setting for Wayne manor in the Dark Knight Rises, set in the beautiful grounds of Wollaton Park. This event was free for the public and ran solely by volunteers. It attracted tho

Maria prepared creams to introduce children to pharmacy practice and to introduce the field of regenerative medicine; Mike prepared polymer gels and Anne helped the children to look at their own cells under a microscope.

The event was a huge success with children and parents engaging and asking scientific questions, putting the volunteers to the test!

Thousands of people of different ages, including families, community groups and students, with a record breaking 7600 visitors!

Monday, 7 March 2016

New collaborative paper

In a study lead by Jugal Sahoo from Rein Ulijn's group we showed that Raman spectroscopy can be used to follow enzyme induced changes on peptide surfaces, complementing our other approach that uses ToF-SIMS to study responsive peptide surfaces. The paper was published this month in Chemical Communications under the title 'Analysis of enzyme-responsive peptide surfaces by Raman spectroscopy'.

Friday, 26 February 2016

New Zelzer group paper in Chem Comm

Maria Angelerou's work was published this week in Chemical Communications. The paper titled 'Surface directed modulation of supramolecular gel properties' demonstrates that physical and mechanical properties of gel films are affected by the properties of the surface they are in contact with. The work was funded by EPSRC through the Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced and Targeted Therapeutics and Akmal Sabri's summer studentship from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Welcome to Becca

Becca Morgan has joined the Zelzer group for a short training project during her foundation year in the Centre for Doctoral Training in Regenerative Medicine. Becca will work with Sunil Rajput on a project to prepare light responsive surfaces.