The polymer and colloid chemistry research conducted within the Saunders group has two core themes: biomaterials and solar energy. We use polymer and colloid science to address major societal challenges. The group has collaborations with other UK and international universities as well as industry. We have biomaterial research projects involving using microgels to repair damaged intervertebral discs (IVDs). Microgel particles are swellable polymer colloids. We have shown that injection of a pH-responsive microgel into degenerated IVDs result in an increase in disc height under biomechanically meaningful loads. This research resulted in highly productive ESPRC Established Career Funding (for BRS) and a Spin Out (Gelmetix Healthcare). Our solar cell research activity involves establishing new and scalable perovskite solar cells. In addition, we have a long-standing collaboration with Synthomer in the area of synthetic rubber gloves. Our thriving multicultural research group is currently 13 strong and has students from Britain, China, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. His solar cell group is currently full. He welcomes enquiries for PhDs in the biomaterials area.
Recent research news from the group
Recent key papers: We are very excited about the most recent paper from our solar group that reports a record efficiency for the University of Manchester of 20.98%.
Mokhtar et al., Bioinspired scaffolds that sequester lead ions in physically damaged high efficiency perovskite solar cells, Chem. Commun., DOI: 10.1039/d0cc02957b
See also the University of Manchester video release for this article:
Dr Amir Milani has also excelled with his masterpiece publication:
Milani et al., Light-triggered programming of hydrogel properties using sleeping photoactive polymer nanoparticles. Chem. Mater, DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.0c04400
A full list of publications from the group appear in the Publications page.
NEWS: A new postdoctoral research position is now available. For details see the Biography section.