Nicola Tirelli

Nicola Tirelli, PhD, FRSC


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Personal profile


Editorship: member of the Executive Advisory Board of the Wiley-VCH Macromolecular journals, and of the advisory board for Reactive & Functional Polymers (2006-2012 Editor-in-Chief for the journal) and Polymers for Advanced Technology.


Professor Nicola Tirelli hols  a joint appointment as a Professor of Polymers and Biomaterials in the School of Pharmacy and in the Institute of Inflammation & Repair (MHS). He has joined The University of Manchester in December 2003 as a Senior Lecturer in the School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences,  and was promoted  to Chair of Polymers and Biomaterials in the same school in 2005, then holding also an appointment in the School of Materials (2010-15). Previously, he was Oberassistent, a position largely analogous to that of a Lecturer, at the ETH Zurich, Department of Materials, Institute of Biomedical Engineering headed at the time by Jeff Hubbell (12/98-12/02).


2005: EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow

2004: Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (endowed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research).

Research interests

Our research focus is on the molecular design and processing of polymeric materials for biomedical applications, what we generally call 'biomaterials'. Specifically, we are interested in the molecular design of (nano)materials that interact with a biological environment in responsive fashion, for example in the form of responsive release of active principles (drugs) from nanocarriers, bioresponsive formation of tissue engineering matrices.

Currently, we are much interested inflammatory pathologies; in particular we study in depth the interactions of inflammatory cells with nanomaterials (e.g. different modes of endocytosis), and the modulation of cell phenotype during inflammatory activation through the properties of the matrices the cells are cultured in/on.

To know more, visit the web site of the Laboratory of Polymers and Biomaterials.


 Clinical Applications in Biomaterials (3rd year and 4th year, course of Biomaterials & Tissue Engineering, MSc Biomaterials). Various taught modules and EBLs in the CDT in Graphene NowNano, CDT in Regenerative Medicine and MRes in Tissue Regeneration

My collaborations

Affiliated staff

  • Dr. Enrique Lallana-Ozores
  • Dr. Arianna Gennari
  • Dr. Roberto Donno

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Member of the American Chemical Society

Methodological knowledge

Our activity encompasses polymer chemistry (e.g. synthesis of block copolymers, polymerisation in emulsion, also synthesis of specific monomers), materials science (e.g. rheology of soft materials, characterisation of colloids) and cell biology (e.g. leukocytes and fibroblasts, and their inflammatorily activated phenotypes).


1996 – PhD in Industrial Chemistry, University of Pisa (Italy)

1992 – Italian “Laurea” (cum laude) – Master in Chemistry, University of Pisa (Italy)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Advanced materials
  • Cancer
  • Manchester Regenerative Medicine Network
  • Advanced Materials in Medicine
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute


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