: Growth, Synthesis and Materials

  • Noha Abu El Magd

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The central theme of this thesis is to exploit the concepts of biomimetic, biokleptic and bio-inspired design, utilising biocrystals as precursors for the fabrication of novel functional materials. As an inherently multi-disciplinary field of research, the work presented in this thesis bridges bio-synthetic techniques such as compartmentalisation, top-down and bottom-up synthesis, and non-contact manipulation. A comprehensive report of three experimental chapters that employ these themes is presented with the aim to enhance our understanding of existing processes such as protein crystallisation, advance our ability to tailor materials for specific functions and present reasonable alternatives and opportunities for the development of materials technology for a more sustainable future. A novel, cheap and facile protein crystallisation technique was designed, in which colloidosomes (Pickering emulsions) were successfully used as microcompartment reaction vessels for the growth of protein crystals. The results obtained were investigated in an effort to optimise the crystallisation conditions and refine the technique. Conventional synthetic routes of carbon dots (fluorescent nanoparticles) were applied to create hybrid top-down and bottom up synthesis mechanism of N-doped and N, S-doped carbon dots (CDs) using cellulose nanocrystals was developed. This cheap, facile and energetically efficient technique was highly reproducible, and the CDs synthesised were extensively characterised to better understand their resultant properties and elucidate the underlying photoluminescence mechanism. The work of these two projects was then built on to explore the potential applications and enhancement of the properties of CDs synthesised by the aforementioned mechanism using compartmentalisation and non-contact acoustic manipulation. The photostability, cytotoxicity and fluorescence decay of CDs in solution and CDs encapsulated in colloidosomes and coacervates (acoustically patterned) were investigated to explore their potential for bio-imaging and photo-sensing applications.
Date of Award31 Mar 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Bristol
SupervisorAvinash J Patil (Supervisor) & J L R Anderson (Supervisor)

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