Professor Zhenyu Zhang PhD

Professor Zhenyu J Zhang

School of Chemical Engineering
Professor of Soft Matter Engineering

Contact details

Address
School of Chemical Engineering
The University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Professor Zhang has a broad interest in understanding and modulating soft matter at surfaces and interfaces, which underpins the development of sustainable formulated products, new hygiene technologies, innovate healthcare technologies, intervention to improve air quality, and new routes for energy. He leads several national and international research consortia, supported by EPSRC and Horizon Europe, to understand antimicrobial effects so as to develop sustainable and effective surface hygiene technologies. He received two Industrial Fellowships, funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering, to work with Procter & Gamble (2020-2023) and DuPont Teijin Film (2018), respectively. His expertise in surface forces, e.g. adhesion, friction, contact mechanics, has been applied extensively in a wide range of soft matter applications such as biotribology.

Qualifications

  • PhD in Polymer Physics, University of Sheffield, 2008
  • MSc (Distinction) in Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Birmingham and Aston University, 2004

Teaching

• Foundation Year Chair
• Plant design

Research

Having established a comprehensive suite of research capability in studying soft matter and interfaces, my current research interests are focused on addressing the fundamental grand challenges underpin Formulated Products sector and advancing Healthcare Technologies. Three of my current principal areas of activities are listed below.

 

Soft matter at surfaces and interfaces for Formulated Products

My research has focused on controlling soft matter, including polymer, surfactants, colloids, at surfaces and interfaces, which offers a powerful toolset for the industry to formulate products with improved performance, less environmental impact, enhanced sustainability.

 

Biomechanics and biomaterials for Healthcare Technologies

With the advanced characterisation techniques established in my group, I have been investigating surface characteristics of microbes and biomaterials. These studies advance the design and manufacturing of disruptive technologies to inhibit the surface transmission of microbes (virus, bacteria, and fungi), generate detailed understanding of cell envelope of bacteria so that effective antimicrobial strategies could be formed.

 

Multiscale tribology

Tribology has been a core element of my research for the past 15 years, and I have established an internationally recognised reputation in the tribology of soft materials. My research capabilities have evolved from nanoscopic tribological measurement to multiscale ones, which builds a unique strength in understanding macroscopic phenomena such as tactile perception, osteoarthritis.

Publications

Recent publications

Article

Kosmidis Papadimitriou, A, Qi, S, Squillace, O, Rosik, N, Bale, M, Fryer, P & Zhang, J 2022, 'Characteristics of respiratory microdroplet nuclei on common substrates', Interface Focus, vol. 12, no. 1, 20210044. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsfs.2021.0044

Simionesie, D, O’callaghan, G, Manning, JRH, Düren, T, Preece, JA, Evans, R & Zhang, ZJ 2022, 'Combined Experimental and Computational Study of Polycyclic Aromatic Compound Aggregation: The Impact of Solvent Composition', Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds, pp. 1-20. https://doi.org/10.1080/10406638.2022.2077777

Limiti, E, Mozetic, P, Giannitelli, SM, Pinelli, F, Han, X, Del Rio, D, Abbruzzese, F, Basoli, F, Rosanò, L, Scialla, S, Trombetta, M, Gigli, G, Zhang, ZJ, Mauri, E & Rainer, A 2022, 'Hyaluronic acid-polyethyleneimine nanogels for controlled drug delivery in cancer treatment', ACS Applied Nano Materials, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 5544-5557. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsanm.2c00524

Argentou, E, Amador, C, Brooker, ADM, Bakalis, S, Fryer, P & Zhang, J 2022, 'Modulating the surface and mechanical properties of textile by oil-in-water emulsion design', RSC Advances, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 2160-2170. https://doi.org/10.1039/D1RA07961A

Simou, K, Jones, SW, Davis, ET, Preece, J & Zhang, ZJ 2022, 'Rheological and interface adhesive properties of osteoarthritic synovial fluids', Biotribology, vol. 32, 100227. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biotri.2022.100227

Zancan, RF, Hadis, M, Burgess, D, Zhang, J, Di Maio, A, Tomson, P, Duarte, MAH & Camilleri, J 2021, 'A matched irrigation and obturation strategy for root canal therapy', Scientific Reports, vol. 11, no. 1, 4666 . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-83849-y

Li, N, Guo, R & Zhang, J 2021, 'Bioink formulations for bone tissue regeneration', Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, vol. 9, 630488. https://doi.org/10.3389/fbioe.2021.630488

Avila-Sierra, A, Zhang, J & Fryer, P 2021, 'Effect of surface roughness and temperature on stainless steel - whey protein interfacial interactions under pasteurisation conditions', Journal of Food Engineering, vol. 301, 110542. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2021.110542, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2021.110542

Mears, M, Zhang, ZJ, Jackson, RCD, Si, Y, Bradford, TJB, Torkelson, JM & Geoghegan, M 2021, 'Lateral diffusion of single poly(ethylene oxide) chains on the surfaces of glassy and molten polymer films', Journal of Chemical Physics, vol. 154, no. 16, 164902. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0051351

Avila-Sierra, A, Huellemeier, HA, Zhang, ZJ, Heldman, DR & Fryer, PJ 2021, 'Molecular Understanding of Fouling Induction and Removal: Effect of the Interface Temperature on Milk Deposits', ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, vol. 13, no. 30, pp. 35506-35517. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c09553

Majerczak, K, Squillace, O, Shi, Z, Zhang, Z & Zhang, J 2021, 'Molecular diffusion in ternary poly(vinyl alcohol) solutions', Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11705-021-2121-3

Burgess, D, Li, N, Rosik, N, Fryer, PJ, McRobbie, I, Zhang, H & Zhang, ZJ 2021, 'Surface-Grafted Poly(ionic liquid) that Lubricates in Both Non-polar and Polar Solvents', ACS Macro Letters, vol. 10, no. 7, pp. 907-913. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsmacrolett.1c00174

Zhang, X, Rao, Q, Qiu, Z, Lin, Y, Zhang, L, Hu, Q, Chen, T, Ma, Z, Gao, H, Luo, D, Zhao, J, Ouyang, D, Zhang, ZJ & Li, Q 2021, 'Using acetone/water binary solvent to enhance the stability and bioavailability of spray dried enzalutamide/HPMC-AS solid dispersions', Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, vol. 110, no. 3, pp. 1160-1171. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.xphs.2020.10.010

Herrera-márquez, O, Serrano-haro, M, Vicaria, JM, Jurado, E, Fraatz-leál, AR, Zhang, ZJ, Fryer, PJ & Avila-sierra, A 2020, 'Cleaning maps: a multi length-scale strategy to approach the cleaning of complex food deposits', Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 261, 121254. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.121254

Simionesie, D, O'Callaghan, G, Costa, JLLFS, Giusti, L, Kerr, WJ, Sefcik, J, Mulheran, PA & Zhang, ZJ 2020, 'Clustering behaviour of polyaromatic compounds mimicking natural asphaltenes', Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, vol. 603, 125221. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfa.2020.125221

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