Dr Alastair Wark


Pure and Applied Chemistry

Personal statement

Alastair Wark started his career with a BSc in Applied Chemistry in 1996 at the University of Strathclyde. He completed his PhD research in 2000 under the joint supervision of Dr Len Berlouis and Dr Frank Cruikshank at Strathclyde and also working with Prof. Pierre-Francois Brevet at the EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland. Following post-doctoral research at EPFL he was awarded a Lindemann Trust Fellowship in 2001and joined the laboratories of Prof. Rob Corn at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After moving across to the University of California-Irvine with Rob’s group and a Project Scientist position, Alastair returned to the Chemistry Department in late 2007 as a Lecturer in Nanometrology.


Gold suprashells : enhanced photothermal nanoheaters with multiple LSPR for broadband SERS
Paterson Sureyya, Thompson Sebastian A., Wark Alastair W., de la Rica Roberto
Journal of Physical Chemistry C, (2017)
Light-triggered inactivation of enzymes with photothermal nanoheaters
Thompson Sebastian A., Paterson Sureyya, Azab Marwa M. M., Wark Alastair W., de la Rica Roberto
Small, (2017)
Gel electrophoretic analysis of differently shaped interacting and non-interacting bioconjugated nanoparticles
Kim Suhee, Wark Alastair W., Lee Hye Jin
RSC Advances Vol 6, pp. 109613-109619, (2016)
Time-lapse measurement of single-cell response to nanomaterial : a microfluidic approach
Cunha-Matos C. A., Millington O. M., Wark A. W., Zagnoni M.
20th International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences (MicroTAS 2016), pp. 377-378, (2016)
Real-time assessment of nanoparticle-mediated antigen delivery and cell response
Cunha-Matos Carlota A., Millington Owain R., Wark Alastair W., Zagnoni Michele
Lab on a Chip Vol 16, pp. 3374-3381, (2016)
Self-assembly of gold supraparticles with crystallographically aligned and strongly coupled nanoparticle building blocks for SERS and photothermal therapy
Paterson S., Thompson S. A., Gracie J., Wark A. W., de la Rica R.
Chemical Science Vol 7, pp. 6232-6237, (2016)

more publications

Research interests

My research focus is based around the synthesis, functionalization and analytical applications of novel nanomaterials alongside the development of techniques capable of optically imaging and tracking single nanoparticles and molecules.  The advantages of these materials for nanometrology and bioanalytical science is that optical measurements can be performed to monitor biomolecular interactions in real-time. As well as developing robust methodologies for ultrasensitive bioaffinity detection at target concentrations approaching just a few molecules, we are also exploring the use of multimodal imaging techniques for monitoring nanoparticle-cellular interactions. This involves developing hybrid nanostructures which can be used for tackling research challenges requiring dynamic measurements in complex biological environments. Consequently, my research is highly multidisciplinary and I have enjoyed successfully collaborating with researchers from across the biology, physics, engineering and medicine research fields.

Professional activities

12th West of Scotland Meeting for Teachers of Chemistry
PittCon 2012
11th West of Scotland Meeting for Teachers in Chemistry
Nano Meets Spectroscopy
10th West of Scotland Meeting for Teachers of Chemistry

more professional activities


Doctoral Training Grant 2010 | Caldwell, Evelyn
Berlouis, Leonard (Principal Investigator) Wark, Alastair (Co-investigator) Caldwell, Evelyn (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2010 - 01-Apr-2014
Nanoanalysis for Advanced Materials and Healthcare - EPSRC strategic equipment
Martin, Robert (Principal Investigator) Edwards, Paul (Co-investigator) Faulds, Karen (Co-investigator) Florence, Alastair (Co-investigator) Graham, Duncan (Co-investigator) Sefcik, Jan (Co-investigator) Ter Horst, Joop (Co-investigator) Trager-Cowan, Carol (Co-investigator) Uttamchandani, Deepak (Co-investigator) Wark, Alastair (Co-investigator)
Period 08-Nov-2015 - 07-Nov-2019
Optical and Magnetic Non-Invasive Flow and manipulation platform for controlling nanomanufacture of pharmaceuticals, nanoparticles, and other nanostructured materials
Haw, Mark (Principal Investigator) Wilson, Clive (Co-investigator) Zagnoni, Michele (Co-investigator) Wark, Alastair (Co-investigator)
micromanipulation non-invasively in nanomaterial manufacture processes, to enhance direct control of nucleation, growth and structure development. Nucleation and assembly are the first stage of engineering nanostructured materials in applications including drug crystallisation, nanoparticle and nanoporous catalyst manufacture, and metal-organic frameworks for molecular storage. There is significant evidence that these complex microscale nucleation and assembly processes are strongly affected by local conditions such as flow. Our understanding of how flow and local (at the micron-scale) forces affect and thus could be used to control nanostructure nucleation is limited, because nucleation is inherently a local process while flow and external forces are usually applied globally. Therefore our novel, versatile OMNIFlow experimental platform will non-invasively impose local micron-scale flows by manipulating optically and magnetically trapped particles, generating local flow fields in the nucleating or assembling suspension. The project brings together Strathclyde expertise in microfluidics, optical and magnetic manipulation and quantitative dynamic microscopy, and focusses on applications in the key Strathclyde research strength of advanced nanomaterial engineering and science for innovative industrial applications. It will provide a unique experimental platform to highlight Strathclyde’s developing central role in this area.
Period 01-Jul-2013 - 02-Dec-2013
Investigating vaccine delivery via high-throughput nanoparticle-enhanced cell imaging
Zagnoni, Michele (Co-investigator) Wark, Alastair (Co-investigator)
EPSRC BTG project
Period 02-Jan-2012 - 30-Jun-2012
University Of Strathclyde - Equipment Account
Gachagan, Anthony (Principal Investigator) He, Wenlong (Principal Investigator) Jaroszynski, Dino (Principal Investigator) Martin, Robert (Principal Investigator) McArthur, Stephen (Principal Investigator) McArthur, Stephen (Principal Investigator) Connolly, Patricia (Co-investigator) Edwards, Paul (Co-investigator) Faulds, Karen (Co-investigator) Florence, Alastair (Co-investigator) Graham, Duncan (Co-investigator) Leithead, William (Co-investigator) Sefcik, Jan (Co-investigator) Ter Horst, Joop (Co-investigator) Trager-Cowan, Carol (Co-investigator) Uttamchandani, Deepak (Co-investigator) Wark, Alastair (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Nov-2014 - 28-Feb-2023
Bioaffinity detection and tracking of disease biomarkers via dynamic multi modal surface plasmon enhanced nanoscopy
Wark, Alastair (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Feb-2010 - 30-Apr-2012

more projects


Pure and Applied Chemistry
Technology Innovation Centre

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