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Mr Alex De Bruin

Mr Alex De Bruin

Mr Alex De Bruin
MSci, PhD

Visiting Research Associate

Area of research

Direct Measurement of Interactions between Chiral Protein Brushes and Their Applications in Biomaterials

School of Chemistry,
Cantock's Close, Bristol BS8 1TS
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Chiral symmetry is ubiquitous in nature, but the interactions between chiral molecules have not yet been fully characterised. My research involves designing a model system for the direct measurement of molecularly and macroscopically chiral surfaces and a I ave designed a novel method for characterising the chirality of such surfaces using synchrotron radiation.

The proposed model system, chiral poly(L/D acryloyl [amino acid]) brushes, are synthesised on both muscovite mica and silicon substrates using a novel polymeric macroinitiator, and their surface chirality and thin film structure are characterised using Near Edge X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure/ Circular Dichroism (NEXAFS-CD) and Soft Resonant X-Ray Reflectometry.(SRXRR) respectively.

I hope to eventually correlate surface chirality with biological activity, with the aim of producing novel biomaterials.


Alex did his undergraduate Masters degree in Chemical Physics at Bristol, and decided to continue his studies. He started a PhD in the Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials (BCFN), an EPSRC funded centre for doctoral training. After shorter projects in Physics and Engineering, he came back to the Soft Matter at Interfaces group for his PhD project, where he is trying to measure the interactions between chiral polymer brushes. He spends some of his time working down in the Bristol Dental Hospital, working on potential biomedical applications of his chiral polymers. Alex has now finished his PhD and has headed off to a job at Johnson Matthey's Sonning Common (Reading) site, controlling colloidal interactions in catalytic coatings, but does pop in from time to time. 



Alex is involved with demonstrating in the 3rd year teaching laboraroty in the School of Chemisty.


  • Nanoscience
  • X-ray reflectometry
  • Polymers
  • Soft Matter
  • Biomaterials
  • Chrality



Selected publications

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View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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