Dr Sophie Marie Briffa PhD

Dr Sophie Marie Briffa

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Research Fellow

Contact details

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Sophie Briffa is a materials’ scientist whose research interests include nanomaterial synthesis and characterisation, nanomaterial behaviour and transformations in the environment, nanosafety and nanomaterials for the purpose of conservation. 


  • 2011 – BSc Chemistry with Materials – University of Malta
  • 2013 – MSc Mechanical Engineering (Research) – University of Malta
  • 2013 – Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies – Royal Academy of Dance
  • 2017 – PhD Environmental Health Risk – University of Birmingham


Recent publications


Briffa, SM, Lynch, I, Hapiuk, D & Valsami-Jones, E 2019, 'Physical and chemical transformations of zirconium doped ceria nanoparticles in the presence of phosphate: increasing realism in environmental fate and behaviour experiments', Environmental Pollution, vol. 252, no. Part B, pp. 974-981. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2019.06.014

Römer, I, Briffa, SM, Arroyo Rojas Dasilva, Y, Hapiuk, D, Trouillet, V, Palmer, RE & Valsami-Jones, E 2019, 'Impact of particle size, oxidation state and capping agent of different cerium dioxide nanoparticles on the phosphate-induced transformations at different pH and concentration', PLoS ONE, vol. 14, no. 6, e0217483. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0217483

Pulido-Reyes, G, Briffa, SM, Hurtado-Gallego, J, Yudina, T, Leganés, F, Puntes, V, Valsami-Jones, E, Rosal, R & Fernández-Piñas, F 2019, 'Internalization and toxicological mechanisms of uncoated and PVP-coated cerium oxide nanoparticles in the freshwater alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii', Environmental Science: Nano, vol. 2019, no. 6, pp. 1959-1972 . https://doi.org/10.1039/C9EN00363K

Joossens, E, Macko, P, Palosaari, T, Gerloff, K, Ojea-Jiménez, I, Gilliland, D, Novak, J, Fortaner Torrent, S, Gineste, J-M, Römer, I, Briffa, SM, Valsami-Jones, E, Lynch, I & Whelan, M 2019, 'A high throughput imaging database of toxicological effects of nanomaterials tested on HepaRG cells', Scientific Data, vol. 6, no. 1, 46. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-019-0053-2

Briffa, SM, Lynch, I, Trouillet, V, Bruns, M, Hapiuk, D & Valsami-Jones, E 2018, 'Thermal Transformations of Manufactured Nanomaterials as a Proposed Proxy for Ageing', Environmental Science: Nano, vol. 5, no. 7, pp. 1618-1627. https://doi.org/10.1039/C7EN00738H

Briffa, SM, Nasser, F, Valsami-Jones, E & Lynch, I 2018, 'Uptake and impacts of polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) capped metal oxide nanoparticles on Daphnia magna: role of core composition and acquired corona', Environmental Science: Nano, vol. 5, no. 7, pp. 1745-1756. https://doi.org/10.1039/C8EN00063H

Hansjosten, I, Rapp, J, Reiner, L, Vatter, R, Fritsch-Decker, S, Peravali, R, Palosaari, T, Joossens, E, Gerloff, K, Macko, P, Whelan, M, Gilliland, D, Ojea-Jimenez, I, Monopoli, MP, Rocks, L, Garry, D, Dawson, K, Röttgermann, PJF, Murschhauser, A, Rädler, JO, Tang, SVY, Gooden, P, Belinga-Desaunay, M-FA, Khan, AO, Briffa, S, Guggenheim, E, Papadiamantis, A, Lynch, I, Valsami-Jones, E, Diabaté, S & Weiss, C 2018, 'Microscopy-based high-throughput assays enable multi-parametric analysis to assess adverse effects of nanomaterials in various cell lines', Archives of toxicology, vol. 92, no. 2, pp. 633-649. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00204-017-2106-7

Briffa, S, Lynch, I, Trouillet, V, Bruns, M, Liu, J, Hapiuk, D, Palmer, R & Valsami-Jones, E 2017, 'Development of scalable and versatile nanomaterial libraries for nanosafety studies: polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) capped metal oxide nanoparticles', RSC Advances, vol. 7, pp. 3894-3906. https://doi.org/10.1039/C6RA25064E

Review article

Chetwynd, AJ, Guggenheim, EJ, Briffa, SM, Thorn, JA, Lynch, I & Valsami-Jones, E 2018, 'Current application of capillary electrophoresis in nanomaterial characterisation and its potential to characterise the protein and small molecule corona', Nanomaterials, vol. 8, no. 2, 99. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8020099

View all publications in research portal