School of Engineering

Staff Profile

Dr Katarina Novakovic

Senior Lecturer

Research

Key research awards:

2016-2018 EPSRC Healthcare Technologies Impact Fellowship

2012-2014 EPSRC Developing Leaders Fellowship

2009-2014 EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellowship

Key area my research group is contributing to is the area of nonlinear dynamics in chemical systems, i.e. oscillatory chemical reactions, where we study oxidative carbonylation reactions in oscillatory mode. Main findings so far include reproducible oscillations in pH, heat output and turbidity as well as the ability of oscillations to influence chemical selectivity. Recently we discovered the world’s first and so far the only oscillatory chemical reaction employing a polymeric substrate. The discovery of alkyne-terminated poly(ethylene glycol) oscillators, has opened new, previously inconceivable avenues.

My research vision includes development of a ground-breaking class of materials, functional porous polymeric materials able to expand and collapse in their volume fully autonomously with a specified rhythm (period and amplitude) for a specified duration. The ultimate goal is to produce biocompatible rhythmic (pulsatile) materials for medical applications, including customised applications tailored to individual patients. In particular, materials for carrying cargo for controlled/targeted drug delivery in chronopharmacotherapy to treat diseases with established oscillatory rhythms in their pathogenesis. Other application I will pursue is for mechanoresponsive tissues (e.g. bone and the vascular system) in regenerative medicine to facilitate cell activity and the assembly of mechanically robust and biologically functional tissue (organs).

Areas of expertise:

  • Polymerisation reactions – experimental and modelling studies;

  • High throughput technologies – process development employing robotic platform for parallel experimentation;

  • Multivariate data analysis;

  • Reaction calorimetry – reaction system characterisation employing power compensation and/or heat flow calorimetry;

  • Reaction engineering – experimental and modelling studies (simulation and parameter estimation);

  • Hydrogels – smart hydrogels; biocompatible hydrogels for cell proliferation; antibacterial hydrogels; hydrogels as markers; hydrogels for drug delivery;

  • Oscillatory chemical reactions – non aqueous oscillatory reactions; experimental and modelling studies.


 

 

Teaching

CME1023 Transfer Processes;

CME2027 Chemistry 2;

CME3036 Process and Product Engineering;

CME8056 Manufacturing, Materials and Processes;

CME3039 Plant Design (Design Project);

CME8117 MEng Research Project.

Publications