School of Chemistry

Search site

Andrew Nelson

Professor in Nanotoxicology
Member of the Crystallisation and Directed Assembly group

Contact details

Room: 2.03
Tel: +44 (0)113 3436409


Organised phospholipid layers
Surface induced phase transitions
Nanoparticle/membrane interaction
Toxicity sensing

Photograph of Andrew Nelson

Research interests

Biological membranes are critical to a cell's function. Phospholipid bilayers form the backbone to the biomembrane and are held together with the protein enzymes and ion channels in a highly organised state by intermolecular forces of self-assembly. We are able to construct organised artificial membranes composed of phospholipids and other entities and support them in a very stable configuration on a solid and/or liquid surface. We can interrogate the membrane's organisation and function using electrochemical and optical techniques. Interaction of these model membranes with toxic agents and/or nanoparticles disrupts their organisation and modifies the function of the component proteins. These properties are utilised in the development of biologically relevant on-line high throughput toxicity sensors. Current research is funded by the MoD/Dstl, EPSRC, NATO, EU FP7, Royal Society, Leverhulme Trust and Modern Water PLC.

Useful links

The Centre for Molecular Nanoscience   
NATO biomembrane sensor project   


Rashid A, Vakurov A, Mohamadi S, Sanver D, Nelson A Substituents modulate biphenyl penetration into lipid membranes Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes 1859 712-721, 2017
View abstract

Sanver D, Murray BS, Sadeghpour A, Rappolt M, Nelson AL Experimental Modeling of Flavonoid-Biomembrane Interactions Langmuir 32 13234-13243, 2016
View abstract

Vakurov A, Drummond-Brydson R, Ugwumsinachi O, Nelson A Significance of particle size and charge capacity in TiO2nanoparticle-lipid interactions Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 473 75-83, 2016
View abstract

Rashid A, Vakurov A, Nelson A Role of electrolyte in the occurrence of the voltage induced phase transitions in a dioleoyl phosphatidylcholine monolayer on Hg Electrochimica Acta 155 458-465, 2015
View abstract

Connell SDA, Vakurov A, Galluzzi M, Podesta A, Gamper N, Nelson L Direct characterisation of fluid lipid assemblies on mercury in electric fields ACS Nano 8 3242-3250, 2014
View abstract

Zhang S, Chen R, Malhotra G, Critchley K, Vakurov A, Nelson A Electrochemical modelling of QD-phospholipid interactions Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 420 9-14, 2014
View abstract

Mohamadi S, Tate DJ, Vakurov A, Nelson A Electrochemical screening of biomembrane-active compounds in water Analytica Chimica Acta 813 83-89, 2014
View abstract

Penezić A, Gašparović B, Stipaničev D, Nelson A In-situ electrochemical method for detecting freely dissolved polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in water Environmental Chemistry 11 173-180, 2014
View abstract

Galluzzi M, Zhang S, Mohamadi S, Vakurov A, Podestà A, Nelson A Interaction of imidazolium-based room-temperature ionic liquids with DOPC phospholipid monolayers: electrochemical study. Langmuir 29 6573-6581, 2013
View abstract

Vakurov A, Guillermo M, Nelson A, Drummond-Brydson R, Wallace R, Svendsen C ZnO nanoparticle interactions with phospholipid monolayers Journal of Colloid and Interface Science -, 2013
View abstract

Ormategui N, Zhang S, Loinaz I, Brydson R, Nelson A, Vakurov A Interaction of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (pNIPAM) based nanoparticles and their linear polymer precursor with phospholipid membrane models Bioelectrochemistry 87 211-219, 2012
View abstract

Zhang S, Nelson A, Beales PA Freezing or wrapping: the role of particle size in the mechanism of nanoparticle-biomembrane interaction. Langmuir 28 12831-12837, 2012
View abstract

Vakurov A, Brydson R, Nelson A Electrochemical modeling of the silica nanoparticle-biomembrane interaction. Langmuir 28 1246-1255, 2012
View abstract

Zhang AS, Vakurov A, Nelson A, Loinaz I, Cabañero G, Grande HJ, Ormategui N Interaction of stimuli responsive single-chain nanoparticles with phospholipid monolayers 24th European Conference on Biomaterials - Annual Conference of the European Society for Biomaterials -, 2011

Coldrick Z, Penezic A, Gasparovic B, Steenson P, Merrifield J, Nelson A High throughput systems for screening biomembrane interactions on fabricated mercury film electrodes J APPL ELECTROCHEM 41 939-949, 2011

Zhang S, Nelson A, Coldrick Z, Chen R The effects of substituent grafting on the interaction of pH-responsive polymers with phospholipid monolayers. Langmuir 27 8530-8539, 2011
View abstract

Brukhno AV, Akinshina A, Coldrick Z, Nelson A, Auer S Phase phenomena in supported lipid films under varying electric potential SOFT MATTER 7 1006-1017, 2011

Lindholm-Sethson B, Nystrom J, Malmsten M, Ringstad L, Nelson A, Geladi P Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy in label-free biosensor applications: multivariate data analysis for an objective interpretation ANAL BIOANAL CHEM 398 2341-2349, 2010

Nelson A Electrochemistry of mercury supported phospholipid monolayers and bilayers CURR OPIN COLLOID IN 15 455-466, 2010

Protopapa E, Ringstad L, Aggeli A, Nelson A Interaction of self-assembling beta-sheet peptides with phospholipid monolayers: The effect of serine, threonine, glutamine and asparagine amino acid side chains ELECTROCHIM ACTA 55 3368-3375, 2010

Coldrick Z, Steenson P, Millner P, Davies M, Nelson A Phospholipid monolayer coated microfabricated electrodes to model the interaction of molecules with biomembranes ELECTROCHIMICA ACTA 54 , 2009

Protopapa E, Maude S, Aggeli A, Nelson A Interaction of Self-Assembling beta-Sheet Peptides with Phospholipid Monolayers: The Role of Aggregation State, Polarity, Charge and Applied Field. Langmuir -, 2009
View abstract

Gaparovic B, Frka S, Kozarac Z, Nelson A A method for characterization of sea surface microlayer based on monolayer properties in presence and absence of phospholipids ANAL CHIM ACTA 620 64-72, 2008

Ringstad L, Protopapa E, Lindholm-Sethson B, Schmidtchen A, Nelson A, Malmsten M An electrochemical study into the interaction between complement-derived peptides and DOPC mono- and bilayers LANGMUIR 24 208-216, 2008

Pasek M, Brette F, Nelson A, Pearce C, Qaiser A, Christe G, Orchard CH Quantification of t-tubule area and protein distribution in rat cardiac ventricular myocytes PROG BIOPHYS MOL BIO 96 244-257, 2008

Nelson AL Electrochemical analysis of a phospholipid phase transition Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry 601 83-93, 2007

Neville FC, Gidalevitz D, Kale GM, Nelson LA Electrochemical screening of anti-microbial peptide LL-37 interaction with phospholipids Bioelectrochemistry 70 205-213, 2007

Protopapa E, Aggeli A, Boden N, Knowles PF, Salay L, Nelson LA Electrochemical screening of self-assembling beta-sheet peptides using supported phospholipid monolayers Medical Engineering&Physics 28 944-955, 2006

Whitehouse C, Gidalevitz D, Cahuzac M, Koeppe RE, Nelson LA Interaction of Gramicidin Derivatives with Phospholipid Monolayers Langmuir 20 9291-9298, 2004

Neville F, Cahuzac M, Nelson LA, Gidalevitz D The interaction of antimicrobial peptide LL-37 with artificial biomembranes: epifluorescence and impedance spectroscopy approach Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 16 S2413-S2420, 2004

Neville FC, Cahuzac M, Nelson LA, Gidalevitz D The interaction of antimicrobial peptide LL-37 with artificial biomembranes: Epifluorescence and impedance spectroscopy approach Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 16 S2413-S2420, 2004

Whitehouse C, O'Flanagan R, Lindholm-Sethson B, Movaghar B, Nelson LA Application of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy to the study of dioleoyl phosphatidylcholine monolayers on mercury Langmuir 20 136-144, 2004

Lindholm-Sethson B, Nystrom J, Geladi P, Keoppe R, Nelson LA, Whitehouse C Are biosensor arrays in one membrane possible? A combination of multifrequency impedance measurements and chemometrics Analytical&Bioanalytical Chemistry 377 478-485, 2003

Monne J, Galceran J, Puy J, Nelson LA Ion fluxes to channel arrays in monolayers. Computing the variable permeability from currents Langmuir 19 4694-4700, 2003

Lindholm-Sethson B, Nystrom J, Geladi P, Nelson LA Gramicidin A interaction at a dioleoyl phosphatidylcholine monolayer on a mercury drop electrode Analytical&Bioanalytical Chemistry 375 350-355, 2003

Lindholm-Sethson B, Geladi P, Nelson LA Interaction with a phospholipid, monolayer on a mercury electrode - Multivariate analysis of impedance data Analytica Chimica Acta 446 121-130, 2001

Nelson LA Conducting gramicidin channel activity in phospholipid monolayers Biophysical Journal 80 2694-2703, 2001

Nelson LA, Geddes N, Tattersall J Interaction of channel-blocking bispyridinium compounds with supported phospholipid layers Cellular and Molecular Biology Letters 6 319-326, 2001

Nelson LA, Bizzotto D Chronoamperometric study of TI(I) reduction at gramicidin-modified phospholipid (DOPC) coated mercury electrodes Langmuir 15 7031-7039, 1999

Nelson LA Influence of fixed charge and polyunsaturated compounds on the monomolecular gramicidin channel function in phospholipid monolayers: Further studies Langmuir 13 5644-5651, 1997

Nelson LA Influence of bioactive compounds on the monomolecular gramicidin channel function in phospholipid monolayers Langmuir 12 2058-2067, 1996

Moncelli MR, Becucci L, Nelson LA, Guidelli R Electrochemical modeling of electron and proton transfer to Ubiquinone 10 in a self-assembled phospholipid monolayer Biophysical Journal 6 2716-2726, 1996