Nanostructured Interfaces and Materials Science Group


NIMS researcher awarded Dyason Fellowship

September 2014

NIMS postdoctoral researcher, Dr Yan Yan, was awarded a Dyason Fellowship to undertake a project analysing nanoparticles. This will form part of a collaboration with the Centre for BioNano Interactions (CBNI) at University College Dublin. Dyason Fellowships have been established to advance education by fostering international academic collaborations.

Frank Caruso awarded 2014 Victoria Prize

August 2014

Frank Caruso with Minister, Louise Asher

Prof Frank Caruso was awarded the 2014 Victoria Prize for Science and Innovation in the category of physical sciences by the state government’s Innovation Minister, the Hon Louise Asher. The award recognises the commitment and achievements of Prof Caruso’s internationally recognised research. The Victoria Prize is managed by the Victorian Endowment for Science, Knowledge and Innovation (veski) and funded by the Victorian Government.

The photo at right shows (l-r) Louise Asher with Prof Frank Caruso.

New Future Fellow joins NIMS research

July 2014

Dr Francesca Cavalieri, formerly of the University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy, has been awarded an ARC Future Fellowship to undertake research at The University of Melbourne with a focus on developing new nanomaterials to enhance targeted miRNA delivery in cancer therapy. Dr Cavalieri has previously been a visitor and collaborator in the NIMS research group. The Future Fellowships scheme promotes research in areas of critical national importance by supporting outstanding mid-career researchers to conduct their research in Australia.

Frank Caruso named Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher

June 2014

Thomson Reuters has announced its Highly Cited Researchers for 2014, listing the world's leading thinkers in science and engineering whose research papers rank among the top 1% most cited for their subject field and publication year, earning them the mark of exceptional impact. Prof Frank Caruso was listed as the top Australian in the Materials Science category. As a member of the Highly Cited Researcher list, Prof Caruso is also included in Thomson Reuters' 2014 World's Most Influential Scientific Minds.

NIMS article on the multifunctional microcapsules judged as "Hot Paper"

April 2014

A recent research paper on multifunctional microcapsules from the NIMS group and collaborators has been rated as a “Hot Paper” by the Wiley journal, Angewandte Chemie (International Edition). The peer-reviewed article describes how a single organic ligand, tannic acid, can be coordinated to 18 different metals to form capsules made of metal-phenolic networks (MPNs). The capsule properties depend on the type and number of metal ions; as such, they can have various applications, including drug delivery, multicoloured fluorescence labelling of biological samples, flexible colour displays, contrast agents and catalysis. Hot Papers are chosen by the journal’s editors for their importance in a rapidly evolving field of high current interest.

The paper has also garnered attention from various international science news sites, such as Chemistry Views, and BioPortfolio.

NIMS contributes to 25th anniversary issue of Chemistry of Materials journal

January 2014

Prof Frank Caruso and the NIMS research group were invited to submit a review for inclusion in the Special Issue on the 25th anniversary of the prominent, peer-reviewed .journal, Chemistry of Materials. Their review is titled "Assembly of Layer-by-Layer Particles and Their Interactions with Biological Systems." Prof Caruso is an editor of the journal, which has an impressive impact factor of 8.238.

Frank Caruso named Deputy Director of new ARC Centre of Excellence

December 2013

Prof Frank Caruso has been named Deputy Director of the new ARC Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology. The new Centre starting in 2014 will be headed by Prof Tom Davis, Monash University, and comprises an international and multidisciplinary team focused on research at the bio-nano interface to design materials that deliver vaccines, drugs and gene therapy agents, and to develop new diagnostic agents and devices. The CoE is expected to be the focus of bio-nano research activity in Australia, fostering collaboration between universities, research agencies, institutes and companies. The expected outcomes are better diagnostic and therapeutic tools designed via an enhanced understanding of the bio-nano interface. ARC Centres of Excellence are prestigious hubs of expertise through which high-quality researchers maintain and develop Australia's international standing in research areas of national priority.

Frank Caruso reports on binding particles to cells in Nature

October 2013

Nature News & Views includes a report by Prof Frank Caruso and A/Prof Andrea O'Connor, both from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The University of Melbourne. They discuss recent research focused on finding a way to control how particles bind to cells, which could lead to opportunities to further biomedical research and applications. The short report in Nature looks at how particles can be designed to deliver payloads of therapeutic drugs and organise cells.

Frank Caruso awarded Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science

September 2013

Frank Caruso with his 2013 Eureka Prize

Prof Frank Caruso has been awarded the CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science for his research leadership and collaborative achievements in the development and application of nanotechnology-enabled materials for biomedical research, such as vaccine and drug delivery or to generate sharper imaging from MRI scans. A short video about his work recognised the Eureka Prize is on YouTube. This has been reported in various news sources, included ABC’s News in Science, The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and Canberra Times newspapers, and The Conversation online news analysis. The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes rank among Australia’s most comprehensive national science and research awards.

The picture at right shows Prof Frank Caruso with his Eureka Prize.
Photo credit: Australian Museum Eureka Prizes and photographer Daniel O’Doherty.

NIMS researchers score Eureka Prize for interdisciplinary research

September 2013

Prof Caruso, Prof Hollenberg and Dr Yan

Prof Frank Caruso and NIMS postdoctoral researcher, Dr Yan Yan, formed part of the collaborative team led by Prof Lloyd Hollenberg awarded the University of New South Wales Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research for their involvement in the Quantum Bio-probes collaboration. This collaboration is the first to measure a single quantum probe in a living biological system using nano-scale diamond sensors that can light up the insides of cells. This work will help researchers see what goes on inside a living cell in unprecedented detail. As with Prof Frank Caruso’s individual award reported above, this has received wide news coverage. The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes rank among Australia’s most comprehensive national science and research awards.

The photo above right shows (l-r) Prof Frank Caruso, Prof Lloyd Hollenberg and Dr Yan Yan.
Photo credit: Australian Museum Eureka Prizes and photographer Daniel O’Doherty.

NIMS research into natural and efficient nanosurfaces featured in Science

July 2013

Science has published NIMS research into a new strategy to coat microscopic materials, leading to a new-generation particle system with engineered properties. This is expected to underpin advances in the delivery of therapeutics in the areas of cancer, vaccines, cardiovascular disease and neural health. The capsules can be engineered to degrade under different conditions, providing opportunities for the timed release of substances contained inside the capsules, and can be assembled rapidly from naturally occurring materials (minerals and nutrients) with specific physical and chemical properties, making it a versatile platform for various applications. The paper has also been featured on the magazine’s ScienceNews site.

This research has received international attention and has been profiled elsewhere, including a research highlight on drug delivery in the journal Angewandte Chemie, as well as the premier nanotechnology information website, the New York Times, ABC’s Science website, which tagged it as "New nano-coating from plant chemical", the prominent science website, the biotechnology industry site Biotech Daily, as well as the US-based TopNews website. The American Chemical Society’s Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) also profiled the research as did The Melbourne Engineer. The broad media coverage includes radio news on science on Triple R and a short interview on current affairs radio 2UE.

NIMS article makes Australian Synchrotron research highlight list

May 2013

A NIMS article, published in the premier peer-reviewed journal Advanced Materials, was chosen as a key highlight for the Australian Synchrotron’s 2010-2012 Research Highlights report. NIMS researchers investigated a novel method to create versatile and stable biofunctional polymer nanostructures through a highly simplified procedure. Part of this research entailed the use of facilities at the Australian Synchrotron, specifically extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopy, with the aim of elucidating the driving force behind the non-covalent biopolymer assembly.

NIMS article on the electrophoretic polymer assembly judged as "Hot Paper"

May 2013

A recent research paper from the NIMS group has been assessed as a “Hot Paper” by the Wiley journal, Angewandte Chemie (International Edition). The peer-reviewed article reveals how multilayered polymer thin films were assembled on particles immobilized in agarose by electrophoresis on the basis of various interactions. Core removal then led to robust capsules with different polymer compositions. This approach enables the versatile and routine assembly of nanometer- and micron-sized capsules and coated particles with very few processing steps. Hot Papers are chosen by that journal’s editors for their importance in a rapidly evolving field of high current interest.

Frank Caruso guest co-editor of journal's special issue on nanocrystals

April 2013

Prof. Frank Caruso was a guest Manuscript Co-Editor for a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal, Chemistry of Materials (volume 25, issue 8), published in April 2013. This issue focused on synthetic and mechanistic advances in nanocrystal growth with particular emphasis given to the control of nanocrystals with regard to morphology, size, phase, and composition, as well research into establishing chemical and crystal-growth pathways, and control of surface and core structure. The journal recently posted another jump in its impact factor (8.238) and citations (74,651), reinforcing its significant impact and leadership in materials chemistry research.

Frank Caruso delivers Bayer Distinguished Lectureship at Texas A&M University

April 2013

Texas A&M University, USA, honoured Prof. Frank Caruso with the Bayer Distinguished Lectureship in which he gave a two-part presentation entitled “Nanoengineering Particles for Therapeutic Delivery: Prospects and Challenges” in early April 2013.

Frank Caruso appointed Honorary Research Fellow at Bionics Institute

March 2013

Prof. Frank Caruso has been selected as an eminent clinician in Melbourne and appointed an Honorary Research Fellow at the Bionics Institute, Melbourne, Australia. This will entail contributing to research initiatives, collaborations and grant applications.

New EAB positions for Frank Caruso

February 2013

Prof. Frank Caruso has been appointed to the Editorial Advisory Boards of the prominent American Chemical Society journal, ACS Nano (2012 impact factor of 12.062), and the new journal from the Royal Society of Chemistry, Biomaterials Science. This builds on his other existing EAB positions on high-ranked journals published by Wiley-VCH and Elsevier.

Frank Caruso profiled by Angewandte Chemie journal

January 2013

Leader of the NIMS group, Prof. Frank Caruso, received an author profile in the Wiley journal Angewandte Chemie, which has an impressive impact factor of 13.734 (2012 ranking). Authors are profiled with personal highlights when they have published a significant number of papers in the journal, in this case 10 papers. features NIMS research on nanocapsule shapes

December 2012, the nanotechnology information website, has provided a technology update on NIMS research, specifically layer-by-layer polymer capsules with well-defined shapes and how these capsules interact with biological cells. The study has shown that the cells more readily take up spherical-shaped capsules than rod-shaped ones – this is an important result when it comes to using the structures for efficient drug delivery. The results of this research have been published in the peer-reviewed article in ACS Nano.

Frank Caruso makes list of Melbourne’s Top 100 influential people

November 2012

Prof. Frank Caruso featured in The Age Melbourne Magazine’s annual list of Melbourne’s 100 most influential, inspirational, provocative and creative people. He was included in the list as one of the world’s leading nanotechnology researchers, with a focus on his work to increase the effectiveness of lifesaving drugs. The University of Melbourne's School of Engineering also reported on this high-profile achievement.

NIMS new imaging tools under the microscope

November 2012

The University of Melbourne’s School of Engineering has profiled the new imaging tools in the NIMS labs. The School's e-news, The Melbourne Engineer, has released a publicly available Visions podcast featuring Prof Frank Caruso and provides an overview how the latest high-resolution imaging tools, powered by computers, are helping to aid nanoengineering discoveries.

NIMS postdoc scores Young Tall Poppy Award

November 2012

Dr Georgina Such, a postdoctoral researcher in the NIMS group, received a Victorian Young Tall Poppy Science Award for her research into effective and efficient drug delivery using ‘smart’ capsules. The Award celebrates the work of early career researchers, who are leaders in their field and the commitment they have to communicating their research to the wider community.

Frank Caruso awarded Discovery Project grant

November 2012

Prof Frank Caruso has been awarded a Discovery Project grant as part of a collaboration with fellow departmental academic, Prof Greg Qiao. The collaborative project is titled “Engineered Hybrid Materials via Continuous Assembly of Polymers for Advanced Technologies”, and will engineer nanostructured materials and interfaces for targeted applications through the use of next-generation polymer assembly techniques. Potential applications include water purification, pharmaceutical development and drug delivery. Discovery Projects support excellence in applied research to expand Australias knowledge base and research capability, and to enhance international collaboration in research.

NIMS postdoc scores DECRA grant

November 2012

Dr Yan Yan of the NIMS group has scored Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) from the Australian Research Council to pursue her project that focuses on the cellular dynamics of nanoengineered particles. The DECRA scheme seeks to support and advance promising early career researchers and provide expanded research opportunities, as well as focus research efforts in Australias National Research Priority areas.

NIMS-supervised student wins Endeavour Expo award

October 2012

Yi Ju, a NIMS-supervised student, won the Outotec Sustainability Award - Biomedical Engineering at the 2012 Endeavour Design Expo held at The University of Melbourne for his project entitled “JC1 Low-Fouling Polydopamine Coatings via Zwitterionic Peptide Functionalization”. Mr Ju was supervised by NIMS members Prof Frank Caruso and Dr Jiwei Cui, and has since begun his PhD candidature in the NIMS group in 2013. spotlights NIMS research on protein capsules for drug delivery

October 2012

The nanotechnology information website,, has posted a technology update on recent collaborative research between the NIMS group and the University of Strasbourg in France. The objective of this research has been to fabricate mechanically robust protein capsules for targeted drug delivery. The initial results of this research have been published in the peer-reviewed article in ACS Nano.

Decoding Nano with Frank Caruso

August 2012

The Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education has produced an online video clip titled “Decoding Nano”, which features interviews with prominent Australian researchers in nanotechnology, including NIMS group leader, Prof Frank Caruso. The video is publicly available on YouTube.

Frank Caruso awarded RSV science research medal

August 2012

The 2012 Royal Society of Victoria Medal for Excellence in Scientific Research in the Physical Sciences has been awarded to Prof Frank Caruso in recognition of his outstanding work in the fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Prof Caruso stated that he was proud and honoured to receive the award and that it was a credit to his NIMS research team and the support he receives from The University of Melbourne. Prof Caruso will also deliver the annual Medallist lecture when he is formally presented the Medal in December. This achievement was also highlighted in the September issue of the Melbourne University Staff/Student E-news.

NIMS interdisciplinary research highlighted by Melbourne University

August 2012

The interdisciplinary research undertaken by Prof Frank Caruso’s NIMS research group has been highlighted by The University of Melbourne in The Melbourne Engineer. The NIMS group’s collaborative research projects have led to the design and generation of a series of nanoengineered capsules and particles that can be customised to meet the needs of a particular therapeutic application. These collaborations involve many prominent Australian science organisations, including the Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute, the Bionics Institute, CSIRO, the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, and bring together experts from engineering, chemistry, biology, physics and materials science.

Frank Caruso awarded Laureate Fellowship

July 2012

Prof Frank Caruso has been awarded a prestigious ARC Laureate Fellowship, which have been established to build and strengthen world-class research capability in Australia. The Australian Laureate Fellowship will help him further build his multidisciplinary research team, including research into developing next-generation particle systems with engineered properties that are expected to underpin advances in the delivery of therapeutics in the areas of cancer, vaccines, cardiovascular disease and neural health. Laureate Fellowships also facilitate building and strengthening world-class research capabilities in Australia.

This achievement was also presented in The Voice, the newspaper of The University of Melbourne available online and as an insert in the Melbourne daily newspaper, The Age.

Frank Caruso named 2012 Eureka Prize finalist

July 2012

Prof Frank Caruso was named a 2012 Eureka Prize finalist for his research leadership and achievements in developing and applying nanotechnology-enabled materials for biomedical research. The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes rank among Australia’s most comprehensive national science awards and honour excellence across four categories: Research and Innovation, Leadership and Commercialisation, Science Communication and Journalism, and School Science. The picture at right shows Prof. Caruso (left) with Prof. Max Lu from the University of Queensland at the awards ceremony.

Frank Caruso at 2012 Eureka Prize night

Journal’s impact factor jumps higher

July 2012

Prof Frank Caruso is an Editor for the peer-reviewed journal Chemistry of Materials, which recorded its highest Impact Factor to date in 2011 of 7.286, and collected 69,926 total citations for the year (as reported by Thomson Reuters), representing an 11% increase in citations. Prof Caruso has been an Editor for the journal since 2005. Put out by the American Chemical Society (ACS), Chemistry of Materials publishes original research at the interface of chemistry, chemical engineering, and materials science.

Another NIMS postdoc awarded Future Fellowship

July 2012

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the NIMS group, Dr Georgina Such, has been awarded a Future Fellowship for her project proposal, “Advanced bio-inspired polymer assembly: tools for diagnostics, imaging and therapies”. This project will involve the synthesis and application of ‘smart' polymer films and particles which mimic biological behaviour. The aim of Future Fellowships is to attract and retain the best and brightest mid-career researchers, particularly in areas of critical national importance in Australia.

Journal spotlights Australian chemistry research

July 2012

The premier journal, Angewandte Chemie (International Edition) has dedicated the editorial in its v51n43 issue to chemistry research in Australia. The editor analyses Australia’s research strengths and opportunities, funding rules and limitations, and the role of the Australian Research Council. The editorial cites several renowned Australian researchers, including NIMS leader, Prof. Frank Caruso.

Science magazine profiles NIMS nanotechnology research

July 2012

Science magazine interviewed Prof Frank Caruso regarding nanotechnology treatments currently being investigated by his NIMS research group. In particular, Prof Caruso elaborated on the physical and chemical properties of such nano-sized targeted drug delivery systems, particularly on the importance of composition and biocompatibility, as well as the expansive opportunities available for the treatment of illnesses.

NIMS bio-click article judged as “Hot Paper”

July 2012

One of the NIMS group’s recent research papers has been assessed as a “Hot Paper” by the Wiley journal, Angewandte Chemie (International Edition). The peer-reviewed article focuses on bio-click chemistry with regard to functionalising PEGylated capsules for targeting applications. Hot Papers are chosen by that journal’s editors for their importance in a rapidly evolving field of high current interest. highlights NIMS research on biodegradable capsules for drug delivery

June 2012

The nanotechnology news website,, has released a technology update on recent NIMS research about the formation of biodegradable, sugar-based capsules using polyrotaxanes; these can be used for efficient and non-toxic drug delivery, specifically anticancer drugs. The initial results of this research are presented in the peer-reviewed article in ACS Nano.

Frank Caruso’s research highlighted in Melbourne daily newspaper

June 2012

Research published in the Advanced Materials journal and undertaken by NIMS group leader Prof Frank Caruso and collaborators into sensorineural hearing loss was spotlighted on 11 June 2012 in a Melbourne daily newspaper, the Herald-Sun. The newspaper article notes the potential practical outcomes in that tradespeople, machinery operators and the elderly should soon be a step closer to being immunised against hearing loss.

Frank Caruso receives inaugural ACS Nano Lectureship Award

May 2012

NIMS group leader Prof Frank Caruso is the recipient of the inaugural ACS Nano Lectureship Award for the Asia/Pacific region. These awards, one for each of three designated international regions, honour the contributions of scientists whose work has significantly impacted the fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology. The awards were formally presented at the Spring 2012 E-MRS meeting in Strasbourg, France, where each of the three awardees gave an invited talk.

Frank Caruso is Guest Editor x 2

March 2012

Prof Frank Caruso is the guest editor for two journals published in early 2012. Along with Profs Michael Ward and Patrick Stayton, Prof Caruso is Co-Editor for the Special Issue of the ACS journal Chemistry of Materials (volume 24, issue 5) that focuses on Materials for Biological Applications. The issue highlights the latest developments in materials used in biological applications, including biosensing, imaging, drug and gene delivery, tissue engineering, biomaterials and biointerfaces. Prof Caruso is also Guest Editor for the Special Issue on Nanomedicine in the prominent RSC journal Chemical Society Reviews (volume 41, issue 7) alongside Profs Taeghwan Hyeon and Vince Rotello. This issue focuses on how nanoscience is advancing biomedical understanding and generating new tools to improve human health.

NIMS research on polymer capsules highlighted on

February 2012, the nanotechnology news website, has given a technology update on recent research undertaken by NIMS on functionalising polymer capsules. This method should find applications for drug delivery with these capsules ideal candidates for targeting cancer cells. More details can be found in the recent research article published in the peer-reviewed journal, ACS Nano.

Inaugural issue of new Wiley journal features NIMS research on cover

January 2012

Cover of Advanced Healthcare Materials Volume 1 Number 1The inaugural issue of the new Wiley journal, Advanced Healthcare Materials, spotlights NIMS research on its front cover for the Review titled “The Role of Particle Geometry and Mechanics in the Biological Domain.” The paper looks at nanostructured particulate materials for drug delivery, notably the manipulation of a new set of physical parameters, including geometry and elasticity. Future synergistic opportunities with the biological domain are also discussed.

NIMS postdoc awarded Future Fellowship

January 2012

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the NIMS group, Dr Angus Johnston, has been awarded a 2012 Future Fellowship for his project proposal, “Bridging the interface between nanoengineered materials and biological systems”. This research project will investigate how nanomaterials interact with biological systems, such as targeted therapeutic drug delivery, and identify pathways and interactions. It should be noted that the aim of Future Fellowships is to attract and retain the best and brightest mid-career researchers, particularly in areas of critical national importance in Australia.

To the NIMS News Archive

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