Molecular and Nanoscale Physics

Latest News

Professor Evans to speak at ICOMF tomorrow

8 July 2014

Professor Stephen Evans, Head of the Molecular and Nanoscale Physics group, will be presenting a talk at this year's International Conference on Organized Molecular Films (ICOMF 2014) in Jeju, South Korea. The conference is in it's 15th year and it's international reknown.

The conference will cover a large range of topics, including, Self-assembly and Nanoscale Organisation, Membrane and Polymer Films, Biological and Bioinspired Sytems and so on. More details can be found on the website, please click here.

Professor Evans has been asked to be their Plenary Speaker at the conference.

Closing date - Friday 13th June

9 June 2014

Registration closes on Friday 13th June for this year's Microbubble Symposium, so make sure you don't miss out.

In addition to our key note speakers, there will be the poster session with prizes and a wine tasting event on the Monday evening following the dinner.

For more information, and to register, please visit the website.

Kevin Critchley to take part in Universities Week!

3 June 2014

Kevin Critchley, from the School of Physics and Astronomy and the MNP group will be taking part in next weeks PeoplesQs and Universities Week, as part of a national campaign to get the general public asking academics questions about their particular field.

Universities Week runs from 9-15th June, with more than 100 Universities taking part via Twitter.

To get involved, make sure you follow our Twitter page @PhysicsLeeds, @UniversityLeeds and @UniversitiesWeek to get all the latest information and to submit your own questions. Make sure you use #UniWeek and #PeoplesQs to ensure your questions are picked up!


Natasha Rhys to serve as Associate Chair at upcoming GRS

13 May 2014

Natasha Rhys, a PhD student from the MNP group at University of Leeds, will be serving as the Associate Chair at this year's Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) in USA. The focus of the seminar is around Water & Aqueous Solutions and will run from 26th - 27th July 2014.

The GRS is followed by the Gordon Research Conference (GRC), which runs from 27th July - 1st August this year, both being held at Holderness School, Holderness, NH, USA.

The meetings are internationally recognised, with a focus on the presentation of new and unpublished research.

Congratulations to Natasha for recieving this honour and best of luck at both the seminar and the conference.

A new atomic force microscope for cross-faculty biomedical research

8 May 2014

In 2013 Dr. Neil Thomson led a successful equipment bid to the Wellcome Trust to purchase a new higher speed atomic force microscope.

Dr. Thomson successfully acquired funds for a new atomic force microscope (AFM) through the annual Wellcome Trust equipment call which funds new state-of-the-art equipment for cutting-edge biomedical research to be used by multiple users in academic institutions. This was a cross-faculty bid that was supported financially by three of the STEM faculties; FMH, FBS and MaPS. The co-applicants from across these faculties were; Dr. Simon Connell, Dr. David Brockwell, Prof. Stephen Evans, Prof. Eileen Ingham, Prof. Sheena Radford, Prof. Mark Harris and Prof. Jennifer Kirkham. The total funds granted by the Wellcome Trust came to £343,707 with additional support in equal measure from the three faculties.

An atomic force microscope or AFM, is a high resolution surface profiling instrument that can produce topographical images of biological specimens. It can be operated in aqueous liquid and humid enviornments making it adept at probing biological materials and tissue without fixation and/or addition of contrast agents. It measures force through the use of a micro-cantilever sensor, so as well as imaging specimens it can measure their local mechanical properties. The AFM feels the specimen surface through a sharp tip at the end of the force sensor, which can have a radius less than 10nm. This gives the AFM the capability of measuring the nanoscale properties of materials and to acquire images of biological processes in situ.

Conventional AFM technology has been limited in the image acquisition time due to mechanical inertia associated with scanning a sensor across the surface. The new instrument increases the imaging speed by up to 100 times principally by reducing the size of the force sensor. This will enable our researchers to greatly increase data collection throughput and allow visulisation of biomedical relevant processes.

The new Bruker Dimension Fast Scan Bio AFM has been installed in the Leeds AFM facility situated in the School of Physics and Astronomy from the beginning of 2014.

Displaying results 46 to 50 out of 51

23rd April 2014

Congratulations to Adam Churchman who recieved the prize for best poster at this year's IOP Conference, "Solutions in the Spring".

Adam's poster focused on, "Developing microfluidic methods of producing microbubble with an inner oil layer towards hydrophobic delivery".

This year's IOP Conference ran from 11-14th at Homerton College, Cambridge. For more details about the conference, please click here.


Physical Sciences and Oncology Away Day success

10th April

The School of Physics and Astronomy recently hosted a Physical Sciences and Oncology Away Day for the Faculty of MaPS. The delegate list included clinicians from the field of Oncology, it was an opportunity for both the Physical Scientists and Clinicians to get together to discuss the challenges. There were 40 delegates in total on the day.

Professor Steve Evans, Head of Group in MNP and Director of Research for the School, led the day and arranged for the following topics to be discussed:

Steve Smye gave an overall introduction to the challenges that researchers in the field are currently facing and David Buckley gave a brief talk about Imaging.

Understanding disease (Basic Sciences/Modelling), introduced by Professor Pam Jones

Diagnostics (Imaging/Sensing) presented by Mr Greg Taylor from St James Hospital

Treatment (Imaging/Delivery) by Professor Peter Selby

Vivian Cosgrove also gave a brief introduction to Radiotherapy Physics Research

The day comprised of small group discussions and workshops, looking at refining the challenges, developing solutions and finally feeding back to the rest of the group.

The intention of the day was to develop new collaborations, we are pleased to say that a very positive outcome was established and we hope to be taking these new ideas forward very soon.

Thank you to everyone who was involved in the organisation of the day and for those delegates who took part in what we can confidently say was a very successful day.


Megan Hughes wins best presentation at recent PG Symposium

4th April 2014

Congratulations to Miss Megan Hughes on being awarded the best presentation at this years Postrgraduate Symposium, held on Tuesday 1st April 2014.

Megan is part of the Dougan group in Molecular & Nanoscale Physics and is currently focusing her research on physics proteins, which are biological molecules with very important functions in the cell. These molecules have unique 3D shapes and Megan is interested in the importance of the forces that hold this 3D shape together.

To see Megan's prize winning presentation, please click here

Victoria Mico wins best poster prize at recent PG Symposium

4th April 2014

Congratulations to Miss Victoria Mico for winning the best poster prize at this years Annual Postgraduate Symposium.

The poster focused on 'Engineering lipid oil nano-droplets for hydrophobic drug delivery', and included input from Dr Sally Peyman and Professor Stephen Evans. To take a look at the winning poster, please click here

The PG Symposium is held every year at University of Leeds and is a great opportunity for PG in Physics and Astronomy to showcase their research in particular areas.

1st April 2014

Registration Opens for this years Microbubble Symposium

Registration for the Annual Microbubble Symposium opens today, to register, please visit our Microbubble webpage

For a full list of speakers and further details about the Symposium, please click here

This is the fourth year Leeds Microbubble Consortium have hosted the Symposium, for details about previous years, please click here

PhD position: New single molecule techniques for understanding protein-DNA interactions

28th March

DEADLINE: 1st MAY 2014


Protein-DNA interactions are central to many major cellular processes, including transcription, replication, and packaging of DNA into chromatin. However, we still know very little about how proteins interact physically with DNA. Without this basic knowledge we will be unable to understand many of the processes underpinning nucleic acid metabolism. New approaches are therefore required to probe directly how proteins bind to and manipulate DNA.


The project will exploit novel single molecule approaches to examine protein-DNA complexes with unprecedented molecular resolution. The ability to control, manipulate and interrogate single molecules will provide powerful insight into the function of these systems and, ultimately, will help us to understand the processes that underpin all aspects of nucleic acid metabolism. The project will make use of novel direct physical approaches to characterise the stability, flexibility and function of protein-DNA complexes (force clamp AFM) and will benefit from the unique collection of skills and experience of the research team.

The project is a collaboration between Dr Lorna Dougan in Physics at Leeds and Prof Peter McGlynn  in Biology at York.


This project forms part of a new White Rose studentship network “New single molecule techniques for understanding the physics of living systems” and is made up of a team of collaborators from the Universities of Sheffield, Leeds and York. The goal of the network is to develop new physical approaches to answer biological questions and new ways for working collaboratively across the physics-life science interface to maximise the impact of these approaches.

If you are interested, please contact Dr Lorna Dougan -


Registration for the Microbubble Symposium on April 1st

24th March

Registration will open for the Annual Microbubble Symposium on Tuesday 1st April.

This year we have another impressive line up of high profile speakers from the Microbubble field, including:

Valeria Garbin, Ian Miller, Jose Manuel Gordillo Arias de Saavedra, Abraham Lee, T.G.Leighton, Michiel Postema, Neil Thomson, Alexander Klibanov and Juergen Willmann

The Symposium will run over 2 days, from 1pm on Monday 14th July to Tuesday 15th July.

Full details of registration costs will be available on the Microbubble website from 1st April.

Leeds' Academic's speak at LCMB conference in India

7 March 2014

Professor Stephen Evans and Professor Richard Bushy recently attended the 'Light in Chemistry, Materials and Biology' in Kharagpur, India. Both were invited to speak at the conference and Richard was announced as the guest of honour.

The conference ran from 24th to 25th February 2014 at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur.

Speakers Announced for Forthcoming Microbubble Symposium

13 February 2014

We are pleased to confirm the following people will be speaking at this year's...

We are pleased to confirm the following people will be speaking at this year's Microbubble Symposium at Weetwood Hall, 14-15 July:

Valeria Garbin - Imperial College London

Jose Manuel Gordillo Arias de Saavedra - Sevilla University

Alexander Klibanov - University of Virginia

Abraham Lee - UC Irvine

T.G.Leighton - University of Southampton

Michiel Postema - University of Bergen

Ronald Roy - University of Oxford

Neil Thomson - University of Leeds

Juergen Karl Willmann - Stanford University

Registration will open on 1st April, further details will be listed on our Microbubble page, here

Leeds Microbubble Group attend 19th European Symposium on Ultrasound Contrast Imaging

23-24th January 2014

Members of the Leeds Microbubble Group attended the 20th European Symposium on Ultrasound Contrast Imaging in Rotterdam.

Sally Peyman produced the following poster about Microbubbles as stable drug-loadable structures toward targeted, triggered drug delivery, which can be viewed here.

For more information please click here.

Leeds Microbubble Group feature in Soft Matter blog

Issue 5, 2014

'Self-assembly of actin scaffolds on lipid microbubbles.' Please use the links below to take a further look at the paper and also the front cover of the blog.

Soft Matter Hot Papers 2014

Soft Matter Blog

Front Cover

Congratulations to those involved: George R. Heath, Radwa H. Abou-Saleh, Sally A. Peyman, Benjamin R.G. Johnson, Simon D. Connell and Stephen D. Evans

Microbubble Symposium 2013

The Annual Leeds Microbubble Symposium was held in June 2013 this year. Guest speakers included a number of world leaders in Microbubble research. The list of speaker is as follows:

Mark Borden, Eleanor Stride, Mangala Srinivas ,Michael Versluis, James McLaughlan, Oliver Couture, Georg Schmitz, Georg Feichtinger, Lori Bridal, Alexander Kilbanov, Klazina Koiiman, Heleen Dewitte, Jeff Bamber, Sandra Meyer and Paul Sidhu.

More details about the Annual Symposium can be found here.

14/07/13: Epigem and University of Leeds unveil first Microbubble Instrument - The HORIZON - for more information, click here