Professor Nico Bruns

Pure and Applied Chemistry

Personal statement

Contact Details

Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry

University of Strathclyde

Thomas Graham Building, Office TG 507

295 Cathedral Street

Glasgow G1 1XL


Phone: +44 (0)141 548 4648;



Twitter:; @Bruns_Lab

Google Scholar: Link



Career Synopsis

  • 2018 – present: Professor of Macromolecular Chemistry, University of Strathclyde
  • 2013 – 2018: Associate Professor of Macromolecular Chemistry, Adolphe Merkle Institute, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  • 2008 – 2013: Habilitand (Independent Research Group Leader), Department of Chemistry, University of Basel, Switzerland; Habilitation Mentor: Prof. Wolfgang Meier
  • 2007 – 2008: Postdoctoral Researcher with Prof. Douglas S. Clark, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • 2003 – 2007: PhD in Chemistry with Prof. Rolf Mülhaupt and Jörg C. Tiller, University of Freiburg, Germany


Tuning the properties of a UV-polymerized, cross-linked solid polymer electrolyte for lithium batteries
Sutton Preston, Airoldi Martino, Porcarelli Luca, Olmedo-Martínez Jorge L, Mugemana Clément, Bruns Nico, Mecerreyes David, Steiner Ullrich, Gunkel Ilja
Polymers Vol 12 (2020)
Self-healing metallo-supramolecular amphiphilic polymer conetworks
Mugemana Clément, Grysan Patrick, Dieden Reiner, Ruch David, Bruns Nico, Dubois Philippe
Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics Vol 221 (2020)
Biocatalytically initiated precipitation atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) as a quantitative method for hemoglobin detection in biological fluids
Pollard Jonas, Rifaie-Graham Omar, Raccio Samuel, Davey Annabelle, Balog Sandor, Bruns Nico
Analytical Chemistry Vol 92, pp. 1162-1170 (2020)
Virtual special issue "Biomimetic Polymers"
Bruns Nico, Scheibel Thomas
European Polymer Journal Vol 122 (2020)
Pyranine-modified amphiphilic polymer conetworks as fluorescent ratiometric pH sensors
Ulrich Sebastian, Osypova Alina, Panzarasa Guido, Rossi René M, Bruns Nico, Boesel Luciano F
Macromolecular Rapid Communications Vol 40 (2019)
Light-responsive block copolymers with a spiropyran located at the block junction
Apebende Edward A, Dubois Laurent, Bruns Nico
European Polymer Journal Vol 119, pp. 83-93 (2019)

more publications

Research interests

Synthetic polymers have contributed to many innovations in all aspects of modern life. Significant progress has been made in synthetic methods to obtain functional polymers, in the fabrication of polymeric nanostructures and in the fundamental understanding of their physicochemical properties. However, compared to the properties and functions of nature’s macromolecules, even the most sophisticated synthetic polymers still appear to be simple and only offer comparably basic functionality. Proteins are fascinating macromolecules, particularly from a polymer chemist’s point of view. The vast variety of functions that proteins can fulfill is not seen in any synthetic material. Enzymes for example act as catalysts, while other proteins fluoresce or control transport across cell membranes. Moreover, certain proteins can self-assemble into nanocontainers and nanoreactors. All these functions are essential molecular mechanisms that enable life and render living tissue responsive and adaptive.

My 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. Examples are the use of enzymes as catalysts for atom transfer radical polymerizations, the use of biocatalysis for malaria diagnostics, to develop polymersome- and protein-based nanoreactors for enzymatic reactions, and to use proteins as force-responsive sensor molecules in fiber-reinforced composite materials.


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Selected Publications:

  1. Rifaie-Graham, O.; Pollard, J.; Raccio, S.; Balog, S.; Rusch, S.; Hernández-Castañeda, M. A.; Mantel, P.-Y.; Beck, H.-P.; Bruns, N., Hemozoin-catalyzed precipitation polymerization as an assay for malaria diagnosis. Nature Commun. 2019, 10, 1369. Link
  2. Rifaie-Graham, O.; Ulrich, S.; Galensowske, N. F. B.; Balog, S.; Chami, M.; Rentsch, D.; Hemmer, J. R.; Read de Alaniz, J.; Boesel, L. F.; Bruns, N., Wavelength-Selective Light-Responsive DASA-Functionalized Polymersome Nanoreactors. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 8027-8036. Link
  3. Rother, M.; Barmettler, J.; Reichmuth, A.; Araujo, J. V.; Rytka, C.; Glaied, O.; Pieles, U.; Bruns, N., Self-Sealing and Puncture Resistant Breathable Membranes for Water-Evaporation Applications. Adv. Mater. 2015, 27, 6620-6624. Link
  4. Renggli, K.; Nussbaumer, M. G.; Urbani, R.; Pfohl, T.; Bruns, N., A Chaperonin as Protein Nanoreactor for Atom-Transfer Radical Polymerization. Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 1443-1447. Link
  5. Silva, T. B.; Spulber, M.; Kocik, M. K.; Seidi, F.; Charan, H.; Rother, M.; Sigg, S. J.; Renggli, K.; Kali, G.; Bruns, N., Hemoglobin and Red Blood Cells Catalyze Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization. Biomacromolecules 2013, 14, 2703-2712. Link
  6. Sigg, S. J.; Seidi, F.; Renggli, K.; Silva, T. B.; Kali, G.; Bruns, N., Horseradish Peroxidase as a Catalyst for Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization. Macromol. Rapid Commun. 2011, 32, 1710-1715. Link



Plant Inspired Materials and Surfaces (PLAMATSU) MCSA ITN
Bruns, Nico (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 30-Jan-2020
Pire Bio-Inspired Materials and Systems
Bruns, Nico (Principal Investigator) Roldan Velasquez, Sara Tatiana (Principal Investigator)
Bio-inspired Materials and Systems is a Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) program funded by National Science Foundation in the US and Switzerland.
PIRE Bio-Inspired Materials and Systems
Bruns, Nico (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2021
NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials
Bruns, Nico (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 30-Jan-2022

more projects


Pure and Applied Chemistry
Thomas Graham Building

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