Dr Nasim Amiralian

UQ Amplify Researcher

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology

Affiliate Research Fellow

Institute for Molecular Bioscience
n.amiralian@uq.edu.au
+61 7 344 31303

Overview

Dr Nasim Amiralian is a UQ Amplify Fellow in the area of Nanomaterials Engineering. She discovered a unique high-quality cellulose nanofibre from spinifex, an Australian native arid grass, using simpler and more environmentally friendly methods. The outcome of this work has resulted in substantial new research thrust at UQ, three patent applications, several commercial opportunities, and most importantly establishment of Australia’s first nanocellulose pilot production plant.

Building on her innovations in spinifex nanocellulose, she is combining her expertise in materials engineering, nanotechnology and textile engineering and utilising the unique properties of nanocellulose to produce novel conductive hydrogel systems which could lead to improved conductive hydrogel technology.

In recognition of her contribution to the field of nanomaterials engineering and research excellence she has received a number of awards including; one of Australia’s Top 5 Scientists (ABC/UNSW, 2018), Queensland Women in STEM Prize- judges choice award (2017), Women in Technology Life Sciences and/or Infotech Rising Star Award (2016), AIBN Research Excellence Award (2016), a Class of 2014 Future Leader award and Best poster prize at the Australian Nanotechnology Network ECR Entrepreneurship workshop(2015).

Dr Amiralian has been instrumental in the development of a culture of collaboration and career support for the next generation of research leaders, in particular women in science. She has been engaged in communities such as Early Career Researcher committee, Women in Technology (WiT) Life science committee, and conferences committee and also play role as a Queensland Flying Scientist. Dr Amiralian also has been an invited committee member of Standards Australia and Joint Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand, contributing to the preliminary work item for ISO/TC229 JWG2 on the characterisation of nanoparticles, and serving as the treasurer of the RACI Queensland polymer division.

Research Impacts

Her research has afforded unique opportunities to drive collaborations with Indigenous Australians and industry partners. She has forged collaborations with both groups of partners, and built trust in these relationships through positive outcomes and considerate navigation of complex landscapes that bridge the academic-industrial divide. Over time, these collaborations have given her experience in conducting and validating successful production trials, and through this process, she has honed skills in negotiation and commercialisation. Furthermore, her leadership capabilities extend to extensive experience in training new staff in the technical aspects of nanocellulose production and nanocomposite processing methods.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland

Publications

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Supervision

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Available Projects

  • Nanocelluloses are the building blocks of plants and comprise the whole class of nanofibrillated cellulose and cellulose nanocrystals, with structures similar to uncooked spaghetti and rice, respectively. Their high surface area, thermal stability, non-toxicity and inexpensiveness made them a sustainable material for a range of different applications. However, despite the interesting morphology of conventional nanocelluloses, due to their weak colloidal stability in ionic media, it is very challenging to chemically functionalize their surfaces. We are aiming to develop a special type of amphiphilic nanocellulose, which is electrosterically stable and consists of nanocrystalline cellulose with hydrophobic chains protruding from both ends. These nanocelluloses are expected to form a homogeneous oriented structure through natural self-assembly tendencies of the hydrophilic and hydrophobic components in their architecture. In addition to gaining some skills in nanoparticle synthesis and characterisation, the student will get some experience in working with the confocal–rheometer to determine the assembly and dynamics of nanofibres upon the application of shear. Worldwide there are only very few set-ups available which combine a confocal microscope with a rheometer and this facility is available in Prof Rowan’s laboratory at AIBN.

  • Magnetic flexible films featuring combined structural configuration of porosity, with good stability and mechanical properties and low cost, are a promising substrate material for flexible electronics. They can be used for portable and wearable, flexible electronic applications such as; future roll-up displays, wearable smart devices and sensors, flexible energy storage devices and electronic skins. This project aims to prepare flexible magnetic materials with tunable pore size for wastewater treatment.

  • Hydrogel is a cross‐linked polymeric network containing more than 90% water. There are growing interests in hydrogel research due to its biocompatibility and advantage as a carrier, which is very beneficial for the biomedical applications. Hydrogel can be easily combined with other functional materials to combine the advantages of both materials and extends its applications. When magnetic nanoparticles integrated with hydrogel, unique properties will be obtained, which allows to control and direct nanoparticles to a targeted location under a magnetic field. This project aims to prepare magnetic hydrogel representing a high level of magnetic properties for biomedical applications.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

  • Memmott, Paul, Martin, Darren and Amiralian, Nasim (2017). Nanotechnology and the Dreamtime knowledge of spinifex grass. In Caroline Baillie and Randika Jayasinghe (Ed.), Green composites 2nd ed. (pp. 181-198) Duxford, United Kingdom: Woodhead Publishing. doi:10.1016/B978-0-08-100783-9.00008-3

  • Jorfi, Mehdi, Amiralian, Nasim, Biyani, Mahesh V. and Annamalai, Pratheep K. (2013). Biopolymeric nanocomposites reinforced with nanocrystalline cellulose. In Biomass-based biocomposites (pp. 277-304) Shrewsbury, Shropshire, United Kingdom: Smithers Rapra Technology.

  • Amiralian, N. and Nouri, M. (2013). Circular and ribbon-like silk fibroin nanofibers. In Rafiqul Islam (Ed.), Research in novel materials (pp. 191-206) New York, United States: Nova Science Publishers.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

  • Martin, Darren James, Annamalai, Pratheep Kumar and Amiralian, Nasim (2015). Nanocellulose. WO2015074120-A1.

  • Amiralian, Nasim (2014). Exploring spinifex biomass for renewable materials building blocks PhD Thesis, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, The University of Queensland. doi:10.14264/uql.2015.129

  • Martin, Darren James and Amiralian, Nasim (2014). Nanocomposite Elastomers. 2014904956.

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Nanocelluloses are the building blocks of plants and comprise the whole class of nanofibrillated cellulose and cellulose nanocrystals, with structures similar to uncooked spaghetti and rice, respectively. Their high surface area, thermal stability, non-toxicity and inexpensiveness made them a sustainable material for a range of different applications. However, despite the interesting morphology of conventional nanocelluloses, due to their weak colloidal stability in ionic media, it is very challenging to chemically functionalize their surfaces. We are aiming to develop a special type of amphiphilic nanocellulose, which is electrosterically stable and consists of nanocrystalline cellulose with hydrophobic chains protruding from both ends. These nanocelluloses are expected to form a homogeneous oriented structure through natural self-assembly tendencies of the hydrophilic and hydrophobic components in their architecture. In addition to gaining some skills in nanoparticle synthesis and characterisation, the student will get some experience in working with the confocal–rheometer to determine the assembly and dynamics of nanofibres upon the application of shear. Worldwide there are only very few set-ups available which combine a confocal microscope with a rheometer and this facility is available in Prof Rowan’s laboratory at AIBN.

  • Magnetic flexible films featuring combined structural configuration of porosity, with good stability and mechanical properties and low cost, are a promising substrate material for flexible electronics. They can be used for portable and wearable, flexible electronic applications such as; future roll-up displays, wearable smart devices and sensors, flexible energy storage devices and electronic skins. This project aims to prepare flexible magnetic materials with tunable pore size for wastewater treatment.

  • Hydrogel is a cross‐linked polymeric network containing more than 90% water. There are growing interests in hydrogel research due to its biocompatibility and advantage as a carrier, which is very beneficial for the biomedical applications. Hydrogel can be easily combined with other functional materials to combine the advantages of both materials and extends its applications. When magnetic nanoparticles integrated with hydrogel, unique properties will be obtained, which allows to control and direct nanoparticles to a targeted location under a magnetic field. This project aims to prepare magnetic hydrogel representing a high level of magnetic properties for biomedical applications.

  • This project aims to develop a reliable approach for making nanocomposite hydrogels with improved mechanical robustness and electronic performance. A nanocellulose template will be used to produce well-oriented gold nanorods in nanocomposites to overcome the issues related to the dispersion of nanorods in a matrix and improve their properties. This project expects to generate new knowledge from the integration of multidisciplinary research in polymer composites and nanotechnology and develop an advanced model system of complex behaviours of nanocomposite to control its structure and properties. The expected outcomes of this project include high-performance hydrogels suitable for a range of flexible electronic devices. In addition to gaining some skills in nanoparticle synthesis and characterisation, the student will get some experience in working with the confocal–rheometer to determine the assembly and dynamics of nanofibres upon the application of shear. Worldwide there are only very few set-ups available which combine a confocal microscope with a rheometer and this facility is available in Prof Rowan’s laboratory at AIBN.