Nico Bruns studied Chemistry at the Universities of Freiburg (Germany) and Edinburgh (Scotland). He graduated from the University of Freiburg as Diplom-Chemiker in 2003 and, under the supervision of Prof. Jörg C. Tiller and Prof. Rolf Mülhaupt, undertook a PhD in Macromolecular Chemistry, which he obtained in 2007. In his doctoral work, Nico investigated amphiphilic polymer conetworks as nanostructured support for biocatalysts. From 2007 to 2008, he continued his academic career as a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Prof. Douglas S. Clark at the University of California, Berkeley, where he explored biotechnologically engineered protein cages as mechano-responsive sensor molecules in polymeric materials. Upon returning to Europe, Nico joined the Department of Chemistry of the University of Basel in Switzerland. From 2008 to 2013, he led an independent junior research group as Habilitand. In 2013, he was awarded a SNSF professorship, which enabled him to join the AMI. Here, he heads the Macromolecular Chemistry group. In 2018, he was appointed full Professor of Macromolecular Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde, and now leads his remaining team at AMI from Glasgow in Scotland. Nico is founding member and principal investigator of the NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials.
His research encompasses an interdisciplinary, bio-inspired approach that combines polymer chemistry and protein engineering to create new opportunities for the sustainable synthesis of polymers and to design, engineer and realize materials and nanosytems with unprecedented new functions. His research interests are biocatalytic atom transfer radical polymerizations (bioATRP), bio-inspired block copolymer nanoreactors, protein cages, and proteins as force-responsive sensor molecules in materials such as fiber-reinforced composites. Nico is the recipient of a scholarship from the German National Academic Foundation, a Marie Curie Fellowship, a Holcim Stiftung Wissen Habilitanden Fellowship, and the Pfizer Research Award for Young Scientists. Moreover, he was honoured as Emerging Investigator by the journals Chemical Society Reviews and Journal of Materials Chemistry A.
- Projects lead
Proteins such as hemoglobin, peroxidase or laccase are ATRPases, i.e. they catalyze ATRP
Fluorescent Proteins as Reporters of Mechanically Induced Damage in Fiber-Reinforced Composites
Self-reporting materials based on the force-induced modulation fluorescence of proteins in polymeric…
The Protein Cage Thermosome as Nanoreactor and Drug-Delivery Vehicle
The thermosome is a 16 nm hollow protein sphere with lids that allow macromolecules to enter and leave…
Self-sealing Breathable Membranes
A layer of an amphiphilic polymer conetworks on a breathable membrane seales punctures and allows water…
Thermosome-dendrimer conjugate as siRNA-delivery vehicle
A cationic polymeric dendrimer within the protein cage thermosome can reversibly bind and release small…