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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.


Real-time intrinsic fluorescence visualisation and sizing of proteins and protein complexes in microfluidic devices.
PK Challa, Q Peter, MA Wright, Y Zhang, KL Saar, JA Carozza, JLP Benesch, TPJ Knowles
– Anal Chem
TEMPORARY REMOVAL: Massively parallel C. elegans tracking provides multi-dimensional fingerprints for phenotypic discovery.
M Perni, PK Challa, JB Kirkegaard, R Limbocker, M Koopman, MC Hardenberg, P Sormanni, T Müller, KL Saar, LWY Roode, J Habchi, G Vecchi, NW Fernando, S Casford, EAA Nollen, M Vendruscolo, CM Dobson, TPJ Knowles
– J Neurosci Methods
Biophotonics of Native Silk Fibrils.
U Shimanovich, D Pinotsi, K Shimanovich, N Yu, S Bolisetty, J Adamcik, R Mezzenga, J Charmet, F Vollrath, E Gazit, CM Dobson, GK Schierle, C Holland, CF Kaminski, TPJ Knowles
– Macromolecular Bioscience
Direct Observation of Oligomerization by Single Molecule Fluorescence Reveals a Multistep Aggregation Mechanism for the Yeast Prion Protein Ure2.
J Yang, AJ Dear, TCT Michaels, CM Dobson, TPJ Knowles, S Wu, S Perrett
– Journal of the American Chemical Society
A microfluidic diffusion platform for characterizing the size of lipid vesicles and the thermodynamics of protein-lipid interactions.
H Gang, C Galvagnion, G Meisl, T Müller, M Pfammatter, AK Buell, A Levin, CM Dobson, B Mu, TPJ Knowles
– Anal Chem
Enhancing power density of biophotovoltaics by decoupling storage and power delivery
KL Saar, P Bombelli, DJ Lea-Smith, T Call, EM Aro, T Müller, CJ Howe, TPJ Knowles
– Nature Energy
Microfluidics for protein biophysics.
J Charmet, P Arosio, TPJ Knowles
– Journal of molecular biology
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
Enhanced Quality Factor Label-free Biosensing with Micro-Cantilevers Integrated into Microfluidic Systems
T Kartanas, V Ostanin, PK Challa, R Daly, J Charmet, TPJ Knowles
– Anal Chem
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Research Interest Groups

Telephone number

01223 336344

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