press release

BonLab features on the cover of Materials Horizons

Our manuscript entitled Control of vesicle membrane permeability with catalytic particles has been selected for the jan-feb 2016 cover of Materials Horizons, a premier scientific journal published by the Royal Society of Chemistry which features first reports of exceptional significance across the breadth of materials research at the cutting-edge interface with chemistry, physics, biology and engineering. Stefan Bon says: "We are absolutely delighted that our research has made the cover of Materials Horizons. Rong Chen and especially Ross Jaggers worked very hard in the BonLab to fabricate giant polymer vesicles which have membrane-embedded catalytically active manganese oxide particles, hereby using droplet-based microfluidics. We demonstrate that these colloidal particles can regulate the membrane permeability of the polymersomes upon their exposure to, and catalytic reaction with, small amounts of dissolved hydrogen peroxide. Not only can we trigger complete release whereby the vesicle gets destroyed through membrane rupture by the formed oxygen bubbles as illustrated on the cover, exposure to small amounts of dissolved hydrogen peroxide leads to temporary enhanced release until all hydrogen peroxide is consumed by the catalytic particles after which the membrane permeability restores itself to its passive characteristic value." 

More on this can be read on our blog.

The paper (open access) can be read here:

Corinna Preuss awarded Newton International Fellowship

Dr Corinna Preuss has been awarded a Newton International Fellowship to conduct research at the University of Warwick’s Department of Chemistry.

Corinna Preuss

Corinna Preuss

Jointly run by The British Academy, The Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society, the Fellowship is for non-UK scientists who are at an early stage of their research career and provides the opportunity for the best early stage post-doctoral researchers from all over the world to work at UK research institutions for a period of two years.

Speaking after being awarded the Fellowship Dr Preuss said:

I’m very honoured and delighted to be awarded the Newton International Fellowship. Not only will it support my personal development but is also emphasises the novelty and importance of our proposed research project.

Dr Preuss will work as part of a team led by Professor Stefan Bon to mimic the motional behaviour of zooplankton by fabricating artificial jelly-objects that have the capability to transform shape, swim, and – as an additional feature – release payloads. Dr Preuss says these hydrogel objects will have these three pre-programmed functions “which can be triggered on demand in a controlled fashion”. For this purpose, recent scientific advances in polymer and colloid chemistry will be merged with soft matter physics and robotics in order to create a promising and interdisciplinary research program

Further to the research with Professor Bon, Dr Preuss is keen to use the Fellowship to teach undergraduate chemists and to create a network with other fellow scientists, saying that: “In my opinion, exchanging knowledge and listening to different opinions is essential for the formation of a highly efficient scientific society”.

Discussing why she chose the University of Warwick Dr Preuss said:

I met Professor Stefan Bon during a conference in Mexico.I was impressed by his research and the passion he presented it with. Later on, whilst I was presenting my research at the poster session, we got the chance to chat more and discovered that our interests in each other’s research would create a promising base for a further collaboration. In working with Stefan and coming to the University of Warwick, I’m taking the chance of changing my field of research to colloidal chemistry and engineering, which provides a new, challenging and fascinating area for me”.


Tom Frew - International Press Officer


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