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Dr Ayomi Perera

Lecturer in Organic Chemistry

About

I am an organic chemist with multidisciplinary research interests, broadly in areas of sustainable technologies for the development of nanomaterials for energy, catalysis, water purification and biomedical applications. I obtained my PhD in Chemistry, under the supervision of Prof Stefan Bossmann at Kansas State University, USA, followed by a postdoctoral appointment at University College London, in the EPSRC Centre for Nature Inspired Engineering. Currently, I am spearheading a dynamic and diverse research group, in addition to conducting lectures and lab classes in Organic, Environmental and Industrial Chemistry, as a Lecturer in Chemistry at Kingston University.

Areas of specialism

  • Hybrid and Composite Nanomaterials
  • Water Purification
  • Catalysis
  • Solar Energy
  • Sustainable technologies
  • Magnetic Hydrogels for Biomedical Applications

Qualifications

  • PhD in Chemistry, Kansas State University, 2012
  • BSc in Chemistry, The Open University of Sri Lanka, 2007
  • Post-Doctoral Research Associate, EPSRC Frontier Engineering Centre for Nature Inspired Engineering, University College London, Jan 2014 – Aug 2018
  • Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Department of Chemistry, Kansas State University, Jan 2013 – Jul 2013

Research

Transcending scientific boundaries has been a hallmark of my research career with multiple national and international inter-disciplinary collaborations. My research experience ranges from the synthesis of organic, inorganic, hybrid, nano and porous materials, to protein chemistry, and microbiology. My current research draws inspiration from my PhD and postdoctoral experiences; the highlights of which were the development of a greener approach to solar energy harvesting via a protein incorporated "Hybrid Soft Solar Cell"; optimization of mesoporous titanosilicates as highly active epoxidation catalysts; and development of robust, responsive, biocompatible magnetic hydrogels for drug delivery.

At present, I am pursuing two major research interests under the unifying theme of "advanced functional nanomaterials for sustainable applications": 1) Development of advanced composite materials for water purification, light harvesting and photo/chemo catalysis, 2) Development of composite hydrogels for applications in wound care and customizable drug delivery.

Recent grants:

  • HEFCE Global Challenges Research Fund award 2018/2019, "A combinatorial approach to low-cost water treatment via removal of microbes, organic pollutants and heavy metals".
  • BBSRC LIDo (London interdisciplinary doctoral programme) 2017, "Magnetically actuated hydrogels: A revolutionary platform for tissue engineering".

Publications:

Perera, A.S., Cockcroft, J.K., Trogadas, P. et al., "Titanium(IV)-induced cristobalite formation in titanosilicates and its potential impact on catalysis", J Mater Sci 2019, 54, 335.

Ayomi S. Perera, and Marc-Olivier Coppens, "Re-designing materials for biomedical applications: from biomimicry to nature-inspired chemical engineering", Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 2018, 377, 2138.

Ayomi S. Perera, Siqi Zhang, Shervanthi Homer-Vanniasinkam, Marc-Olivier Coppens and Mohan Edirisinghe,  "Polymer-magnetic composite fibers for remote-controlled drug release", ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2018, 10, 15524-15531.

Ayomi S. Perera, Panagiotis Trogadas, Michael M. Nigra, Haiyue Yu and Marc-Olivier Coppens, "Optimization of mesoporous titanosilicate catalysts for cyclohexene epoxidation via statistically guided synthesis", J Mater Sci 2018 53(10), 7279-7293.

Asanka S. Yapa, Hongwang Wang, Sebastian O. Wendel, Tej. B. Shrestha, Nilusha L. Kariyawasam, Madumali Kalubowilage, Ayomi S. Perera, et al., "Peptide nanosponges designed for rapid uptake by stem cells and leukocytes", RSC Adv. 2018, 8, 16052-16060.

Ayomi S. Perera, "Sustainable Magnetic Nanocatalysts in Heterogeneous Catalysis", Magnetic Nanomaterials: Applications in Catalysis and Life Sciences, The Royal Society of Chemistry: 2017, 99-119. DOI: 10.1039/9781788010375-00099.

Ayomi S. Perera and Marc-Olivier Coppens, "Titano-silicates: Highlights on development, evolution and application in oxidative catalysis", Catalysis Volume 28 2016, 28, 119-143. DOI:10.1039/9781782626855-00119

Ayomi S. Perera, Navaneetha K. Subbaiyan, Mausam Kalita, Michael E. Niederweis, Sebastian O. Wendel, Thilani N. Samarakoon, Francis D'Souza and Stefan H. Bossmann, "A Hybrid Soft Solar Cell Based on the Mycobacterial Porin MspA Linked to a Sensitizer-Viologen Diad" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 6842-6845.

Ayomi S. Perera, Hongwang Wang, Matthew T. Basel, Megh Raj Pokhrel, Pubudu S. Gamage, Mausam Kalita, Sebastian O. Wendel, Bryan Sears, Dhanushi Welideniya, Yao Liu, Claudia Turro, Deryl L. Troyer, and Stefan H. Bossmann, "Channel Blocking of MspA Revisited" Langmuir 2013, 29 (1), 308-315.

Ayomi S. Perera, Hongwang Wang, Tej B. Shrestha, Deryl L. Troyer, and Stefan H. Bossmann, "Nanoscopic surfactant behavior of the porin MspA in aqueous media", Beilstein J. Nanotechnol. 2013, 4, 278-284.

A. S. Perera, H. Wang, A. S. Yapa, et al. "Statistically-Guided Optimization of the Catalysis of Cellulose Hydrolysis via Sulfamic Acid Functionalized Magnetic Iron/Iron(III) Oxide Core-Shell Nanoparticles", Nano Sci Nano Technol. 2017, 11(1):115.

Sebastian O. Wendel, Ayomi S. Perera, Peter H. Pfromm, Peter Czermak and Stefan H. Bossmann, "Fermentation Optimization of Mycobacterium smegmatis Using Experimental Design", British Journal of Applied Science & Technology 2014, 4(10), 1472-1484.

Sebastian O. Wendel, Ayomi S. Perera, Peter H. Pfromm, Peter Czermak and Stefan H. Bossmann, "Adaptation of Mycobacterium smegmatis to an Industrial Scale Medium & Isolation of the Mycobacterial Porin MspA", The Open Microbiology Journal 2013, 7, 92-98.

Selected Conferences  

AIChE Annual Meeting 2017, Minneapolis, MN, USA, October 30th - November 3rd 2017. "Investigation of Factors that Induce Cristobalite Formation during Titanosilicate Synthesis and Their Potential Impact on Heterogeneous Catalysis", and "Nacre-Inspired Composite Gels for Biomedical Applications".

ACS National Meeting 2017, Washington DC, USA, August 20th-24th 2017. "Titanium(IV)-Induced Formation of Cristobalite in Titanosilicates and its Potential Effect on Heterogeneous Catalysis - Induced Impact or Spectator?". 

AIChE Annual Meeting 2016, San Francisco, CA, USA, November 13th-18th 2016. "Development of a Hierarchical Titanosilicate with High Catalytic Activity via Statistically Guided Synthesis".

Gordon Research Conference: Catalysis, New London, NH, USA, June 12th-17th 2016. "Statistically guided synthesis optimization of a hierarchically ordered micro-meso porous titanosilicate for heterogeneous catalysis".

Pacifichem 2015 Conference, Honolulu, HI, USA, December 15th-20th 2015. "Synthesis Optimization of Hierarchically Ordered Micro-Mesoporous Ti-Silica for Heterogeneous Catalysis".

ZMPC 2015 Conference, Sapporo, Japan, June 28th-July 02nd 2015. "Optimized Synthesis of Mesoporous Ti-Silica Micro-Spheres for Catalysis: A Doehlert Matrix Study".

AIChE Annual Meeting 2014, Atlanta, GA, USA, November 12th-17th 2014, "Synthesis and Catalytic Activity of Mesoporous Ti-Silica Materials".

ChemEng Day UK, April, 2014 (Manchester) and 2015 (Sheffield). "Self-Organization Behavior and Scope of Application of Mycobacterial Porin MspA", and "Optimized Synthesis of Mesoporous Titano-Silicate Microspheres for Catalytic Applications: A Doehlert Matrix Study".

ACS 47th Midwest Regional Meeting, Wichita, KS, USA, October 24-27th 2012. "FTO and FTO/TiO2 Based Solar Cells Incorporating the Mycobacterial Porin MspA as a Green Alternate Energy Source", "Mechanism of Temperature Dependent Nanoscopic Vesicle Formation of Mycobacterial Porin MspA in Aqueous Media", "3D Aggregation Behavior of RuC2-MspA Assemblies in Aqueous Media: An Explanation to Lack of Channel Blocking of MspA Pore by RuC2 Complex".

Capitol Graduate Research Summit, Topeka, KS, USA, February 16th 2012. "Design of a 'Greener' Solar Cell using Mycobacterial Protein MspA". (Winner: Best poster award)

K-State Research Forum, Manhattan, KS, USA, April 20th 2011. "Purification and Analytical Assessment of the Mycobacterial Porin MspA and Investigation of its Channel Activity and Potential Use for a Protein Nano-Solar Cell". (Winner: Best research presentation award)

22nd National NSF EPSCoR Conference, Coeur d'Alene, ID, USA, October 24-27th 2011. "Design of a Mycobacterial Porin Based Dye Sensitized Solar Cell". (Winner: Grand prize in energy poster session)

ACS Joint 46th Midwest Regional Meeting - 39th Great Lakes Regional Meeting, St. Louis, MO, USA, October 19-22nd 2011. "Design of a Mycobacterium Porin (MspA) Based Solar Cell".

Publications

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