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Centre for Misfolding Diseases

Professor Tuomas Knowles

We study the physical and chemical aspects of the behaviour of biopolymers and other soft systems. Much of our work has been focused on the physical aspects underlying the self-assembly of protein molecules. Self-organisation is the driving force generating complex matter in nature, and the process by which the machinery providing functionality in living systems is assembled. The goal of our research is to understand the physical and chemical factors which control the structures and dynamics of biomolecular assemblies, and the connections between the nanoscale characteristics of the component molecules and the physical properties of large-scale assemblies and their behaviour on a mesoscopic to macroscopic scale. The techniques used in our laboratory include biosensors, optical lithography, microfluidic devices and scanning probe microscopy and spectroscopy. We work both with natural and synthetic polymers and our interests range from fundamental chemical physics to technological applications in material science and molecular medicine.


Mechanism of biosurfactant adsorption to oil/water interfaces from millisecond scale tensiometry measurements
L Kong, KL Saar, R Jacquat, L Hong, A Levin, H Gang, R Ye, B Mu, TPJ Knowles
– Interface focus
Thermodynamics of Polypeptide Supramolecular Assembly in the Short-Chain Limit.
TO Mason, TCT Michaels, A Levin, CM Dobson, E Gazit, TPJ Knowles, AK Buell
– Journal of the American Chemical Society
High quality-factor label-free single analyte detection with MEMS cantilevers integrated into microfluidic systems.
T Kartanas, V Ostanin, PK Challa, R Daly, J Charmet, TPJ Knowles
– Anal Chem
Absolute Quantification of Amyloid Propagons by Digital Microfluidics
M Pfammatter, M Andreasen, G Meisl, CG Taylor, J Adamcik, S Bolisetty, A Sánchez-Ferrer, D Klenerman, CM Dobson, R Mezzenga, TPJ Knowles, A Aguzzi, S Hornemann
– Anal Chem
Hierarchical Biomolecular Emulsions Using 3-D Microfluidics with Uniform Surface Chemistry.
Z Toprakcioglu, A Levin, TPJ Knowles
– Biomacromolecules
Kinetic constraints on self-assembly into closed supramolecular structures
TCT Michaels, MMJ Bellaiche, MF Hagan, TPJ Knowles
– Scientific reports
Gradient-free determination of isoelectric points of proteins on chip.
U Łapińska, KL Saar, EV Yates, TW Herling, T Müller, PK Challa, CM Dobson, TPJ Knowles
– Physical chemistry chemical physics : PCCP
Sequential Release of Proteins from Structured Multishell Microcapsules
U Shimanovich, TCT Michaels, E De Genst, D Matak-Vinkovic, CM Dobson, TPJ Knowles
– Biomacromolecules
Monomeric and fibrillar alpha-synuclein exert opposite effects on the catalytic cycle that promotes the proliferation of A beta 42 aggregates
S Chia, P Flagmeier, J Habchi, V Lattanzi, S Linse, CM Dobson, TPJ Knowles, M Vendruscolo
– Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Silk micrococoons for protein stabilisation and molecular encapsulation
U Shimanovich, FS Ruggeri, E De Genst, J Adamcik, TP Barros, D Porter, T Müller, R Mezzenga, CM Dobson, F Vollrath, C Holland, TPJ Knowles
– Nature Communications
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Research Interest Groups

Telephone number

01223 336344

Email address