Dr Richard Moakes EngD, MSci (Hons)

Dr Richard Moakes

School of Chemical Engineering
Lecturer in Healthcare Materials

Contact details

Healthcare Technologies Institute 3rd Floor
Institute of Translational Medicine Heritage Building (Old Queen Elizabeth Hospital)
Mindelsohn Way
B15 2TH

Dr. Richard Moakes is a Lecturer in the School of Chemical Engineering and the Healthcare Technologies Institute (HTI), at the University of Birmingham. Richard’s research is centred around merging both chemical and material sciences to engineer the next generation of materials that synergistically work with the body to shape biology.

His work within the translational field, spanning “bench to bedside”, incorporates fundamental science, GMP manufacture and clinical trials, producing research that directly enhances patient health.

Richard Moakes is part of the Healthcare Technologies Institute (HTI), an interdisciplinary network of over 70 academics working together to advance new technologies and treatments that encourage better tissue healing and rehabilitation tools.  The HTI brings together leading experts from a variety of disciplines across the University of Birmingham, including chemical engineering, biomedical science, computer science, applied mathematics, chemistry and physics. Researchers across campus are working collaboratively to speed up the translation of new discoveries into health applications.


  • EngD in Formulation Engineering, University of Birmingham, (2016)
  • MSci (Hons) in Forensic Chemistry, University of Kent Canterbury, (2012)


Richard found his passion for research during his undergraduate degree; whilst exploring the use of nano-magnets within cancer therapies. On graduating from the University of Kent in 2012 with a first class MSci (Hons) degree, Richard continued his studies at the University of Birmingham where he undertook a Doctorate in formulation engineering (Eng.D). As an industrially focused programme, Richard established an appreciation for the commercial application to research, working closely with Kerry Foods plc.

Having received his Doctorate in 2016, Richard took up a post-Doctoral position within the Grover labs, focusing on structuring soft-materials to prevent scarring (ocular and skin). During this time, Richard expanded his research into the translational medicine field, where he set up GMP manufacturing facilities in order to move the research from the bench through to early-phase clinical trials.

In addition to the research, Richard has successfully commercialised his work, becoming a founding member of a healthcare spin-out company, Healome, and co-inventing an anti-viral nasal spray (Norizite™) to prevent COVID-19 infection.

Richard was appointed as a Lecturer in Healthcare Materials in 2022, working as part of the HTI team within Chemical Engineering. His current work is focused on driving innovation in healing, engineering advanced, next generation materials that work synergistically with the body to shape biological outcomes.


Richard teaches on both bachelor and masters programmes within the School of Engineering, including:

Core Modules

  • Reactors, Catalysts and Thermodynamics (RCT)

Masters Modules

  • Non-Ideal Materials (NIM)
  • Advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs)

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Moakes supervises a range on inter-disciplinary projects spanning the translational medicine field. He and his team warmly welcome applications from keen and motivated individuals who share a fascination of science.

Research opportunities

Please contact Richard to discuss possible PhD and MSc research opportunities. Funded positions will be advertised on findaphd.com and through the HTI twitter account.


Richard’s research is focused on being able to direct biological processes through a materials-based approach; using a multi-disciplinary setting to translate basic science through to the patient.

Key research themes include:

  • Structuring materials for improved functionality
  • Shaping biology through engineering biological micro-environments
  • Anti-scarring technologies


Moakes, R. J. A. et al. (2021), A suspended layer additive manufacturing approach to the bioprinting of tri-layered skin equivalents. APL Bioeng. 5: 046103

Hughes, E. A. B., Robinson, T. E., Moakes, R. J. A., Chipara, M. & Grover, L. M., (2021) Controlled self-assembly of chemical gardens enables fabrication of heterogeneous chemobrionic materials. Commun. Chem. 4

Foster, N., Allen, P., El Haj, A. J., Grover, L. M. & Moakes, R. J. A. (2021), Tailoring therapeutic responses via engineering micro-environments with a novel synthetic fluid gel. Adv. Healthc. Mater. 10: 2100622

Moakes, R. J. A., Davies, S. P., Stamataki, Z. & Grover, L. M., (2021), Formulation of a composite nasal spray enabling enhanced surface coverage and prophylaxis of SARS-COV-2. Adv. Mater :2008304

Robinson, T. E., Moakes, R. J. A. & Grover, L. M., (2021), Low Acyl Gellan as an Excipient to Improve the Sprayability and Mucoadhesion of Iota Carrageenan in a Nasal Spray to Prevent Infection with SARS-CoV-2. Front. Med. Technol. 3:687681

Robinson, T. E. et al. (2020), Local injection of a hexametaphosphate formulation reduces heterotopic ossification in vivo. Mater. Today Bio 7:100059.

Wu, M. et al., (2020), The neuroregenerative effects of topical decorin on the injured mouse cornea. J. Neuroinflammation 17

Begum, G. et al., (2020), Rapid assessment of ocular drug delivery in a novel ex vivo corneal model. Sci. Rep. 10:11754

Nikravesh, N. et al., (2019), Physical Structuring of Injectable Polymeric Systems to Controllably Deliver Nanosized Extracellular Vesicles. Adv. Healthc. Mater. 8:1801604

Chouhan, G. et al., (2019), A self-healing hydrogel eye drop for the sustained delivery of decorin to prevent corneal scarring. Biomaterials, 210:41–50

Hall, T. J. et al., (2019), Antimicrobial emulsions: Formulation of a triggered release reactive oxygen delivery system. Mater. Sci. Eng. C, 103:109735

ter Horst, B. et al., (2019), A gellan-based fluid gel carrier to enhance topical spray delivery. Acta Biomater. 89:166–179

Cooke, M. E. et al., (2018), Structuring of Hydrogels across Multiple Length Scales for Biomedical Applications. Adv. Mater. 30:1705013

Hill, L. J. et al., (2018), Sustained release of decorin to the surface of the eye enables scarless corneal regeneration. npj Regen. Med. 3:1–12

Cox, S. C. et al., (2017), Surface Finish has a Critical Influence on Biofilm Formation and Mammalian Cell Attachment to Additively Manufactured Prosthetics. ACS Biomater. Sci. Eng. 3:1616–1626

Cooke, M. E. et al., (2017), Geometric confinement is required for recovery and maintenance of chondrocyte phenotype in alginate. APL Bioeng. 1:16104

Moakes, R. J. A., Sullo, A. & Norton, I. T., (2015), Preparation and rheological properties of whey protein emulsion fluid gels. RSC Adv. 5:60786–60795

Moakes, R. J. A., Sullo, A. & Norton, I. T., (2015), Preparation and characterisation of whey protein fluid gels: The effects of shear and thermal history. Food Hydrocoll. 45:227–235

Fernández Farrés, I., Moakes, R. J. A. & Norton, I. T., (2014), Designing biopolymer fluid gels: A microstructural approach. Food Hydrocoll. 42:362–372

View all publications in research portal