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Dr Tuomas Knowles

Portrait of tpjk2

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.

Selected publications

An analytical solution to the kinetics of breakable filament assembly, Science, 326, 1533 (2009)

Role of intermolecular forces in defining material properties of protein nanofibrils, Science 318, 1900 (2007)


Density-Gradient-Free Microfluidic Centrifugation for Analytical and Preparative Separation of Nanoparticles.
P Arosio, T Müller, L Mahadevan, TP Knowles – Nano Lett (2014)
Spatial Propagation of Protein Polymerization
SI Cohen, L Rajah, CH Yoon, AK Buell, DA White, RA Sperling, M Vendruscolo, EM Terentjev, CM Dobson, DA Weitz, TP Knowles – Phys Rev Lett (2014) 112, 098101
Nucleation-conversion-polymerization reactions of biological macromolecules with prenucleation clusters.
GA Garcia, SI Cohen, CM Dobson, TP Knowles – Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys (2014) 89, 032712
The Role of Stable α-Synuclein Oligomers in the Molecular Events Underlying Amyloid Formation.
N Lorenzen, SB Nielsen, AK Buell, JD Kaspersen, P Arosio, BS Vad, W Paslawski, G Christiansen, Z Valnickova-Hansen, M Andreasen, JJ Enghild, JS Pedersen, CM Dobson, TP Knowles, DE Otzen – Journal of the American Chemical Society (2014) 136, 3859
Polymer Physics Inspired Approaches for the Study of the Mechanical Properties of Amyloid Fibrils
LR Volpatti, TPJ Knowles – Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics (2014) 52, 281
Nanoscale spatially resolved infrared spectra from single microdroplets.
T Müller, FS Ruggeri, AJ Kulik, U Shimanovich, TO Mason, TP Knowles, G Dietler – Lab on a chip (2014) 14, 1315
Expanding the Solvent Chemical Space for Self-Assembly of Dipeptide Nanostructures
TO Mason, DY Chirgadze, A Levin, L Adler-Abramovich, E Gazit, TP Knowles, AK Buell – ACS Nano (2014) 8, 1243
Chemical kinetics for drug discovery to combat protein aggregation diseases.
P Arosio, M Vendruscolo, CM Dobson, TP Knowles – Trends Pharmacol Sci (2014) 35, 127
Quantitative analysis of diffusive reactions at the solid-liquid interface in finite systems
TCT Michaels, AK Buell, EM Terentjev, TPJ Knowles – Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters (2014) 5, 695
Sonochemically-induced spectral shift as a probe of green fluorescent protein release from nano capsules
U Shimanovich, A Munder, NG Azoia, A Cavaco-Paulo, A Gruzman, TPJ Knowles, A Gedanken – RSC Advances (2014) 4, 10303
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Research Group

Research Interest Group

Telephone number

01223 336344
01223 763845 (shared)

Email address