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


Promoting the furan ring opening reaction to access new donor–acceptor stenhouse adducts with hexafluoroisopropanol
Clerc Michèle, Stricker Friedrich, Ulrich Sebastian, Sroda Miranda, Bruns Nico, Boesel Luciano F, Read de Alaniz Javier
Angewandte Chemie International Edition (2021)
Shear stress-responsive polymersome nanoreactors inspired by the marine bioluminescence of dinoflagellates
Rifaie-Graham Omar, Galensowske Nikolas F B, Dean Charlie, Pollard Jonas, Balog Sandor, Gouveia Micael G, Chami Mohamed, Vian Antoine, Amstad Esther, Lattuada Marco, Bruns Nico
Angewandte Chemie International Edition Vol 60, pp. 904-909 (2021)
Rapid quantification of the malaria biomarker hemozoin by improved biocatalytically initiated precipitation atom transfer radical polymerizations
Raccio Samuel, Pollard Jonas, Djuahdi Ashley, Balog Sandor, Pellizzoni Michela M, Rodriguez Kyle J, Rifaie-Graham Omar, Bruns Nico
Analyst Vol 145, pp. 7741-7751 (2020)
Silk sericin-polylactide protein-polymer conjugates as biodegradable amphiphilic material and its application in drug release systems
Boonpavanitchakul Kanittha, Bast Livia K, Bruns Nico, Magaraphan Rattanawan
Bioconjugate Chemistry Vol 31, pp. 2312-2324 (2020)
Stabilizing enzymes within polymersomes by co-encapsulation of trehalose
Dinu Maria Valentina, Dinu Ionel Adrian, Saxer Sina Simone, Meier Wolfgang P, Pieles Uwe, Bruns Nico
Biomacromolecules (2020)
Functional membranes based on amphiphilic polymer co-networks
Ulrich Sebastian, Boesel Luciano F, Bruns Nico
Amphiphilic Polymer Co-networks Synthesis, Properties, Modelling and Applications (2020) (2020)

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.


Group Webpage:

For further information, please visit:


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



Intracellular Controlled Radical Polymerizations
Bruns, Nico (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 31-Jan-2023
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.
NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials
Bruns, Nico (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 30-Jan-2022
PIRE Bio-Inspired Materials and Systems
Bruns, Nico (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2021

More projects


Pure and Applied Chemistry
Thomas Graham Building

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