The main focus of my research is on the development of novel biomaterials for non-aqueous biocatalysis. The aim of such research is to provide new technologies for industrial bioprocessing, with a focus on new recycling technologies, and to further our understanding of proteins and enzymes in unnatural environments.
Initially my work, throughout my PhD and first post-doc, has been an effort to further understand the biophysics of proteins and enzymes in nonaqueous/unnatural environments. This was done through the the design and characterization of solvent-free liquid proteins. These unique biofluids are liquids in the absent of any solvent, and retain structure, dynamics, and function despite the lack of water. Amazingly, these materials have a high thermal stability, with enzyme activity attainable at 150 °C.
Now, my research builds on these foundations to develop enzyme-based biocatalysts for use in non-aqueous and emerging solvents, such as ionic liquids, providing a robust and versatile platform for truly using biology for industrial purposes.
More recently, I have begun a program of research on ionogels as a new platform technology for biocatalysis, with the aim of extending this to bioelectronics and biosensing. This will be an exciting new direction for this new-class of gel material, so there is a lot of work to be done!
Please see my publications for further detail.