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Personal profile

Research interests

Work in the Edler group focuses on understanding the formation of functional hierarchically structured materials in order to apply that understanding to make new materials. We use self-assembly, driven by interactions between nanoscopic species (micelles, nanoparticles, polymers) in solution and at interfaces to form materials with organized structures from nm to cm. Understanding interactions between surfaces, nanoparticles and other species is central to our control over structure and thus function.

We use time-resolved grazing incidence X-ray & neutron reflectivity, liquid diffraction and small angle scattering to study formation mechanisms & final structures. A range of other complementary techniques (including TEM, SEM, AFM, NMR, light scattering, surface tension, conductivity, XRD, SESANS, USANS/USAXS, gas adsorption) are also used to characterise our materials across length scales from tens of Ångstroms to microns.

Extensive collaborations with other groups in industry and academia apply the novel materials synthesised in our group to applications from delivery of active species, to catalysis and “green” gels or emulsions.


For more details please see the Edler group page.


Current research topics

  • Self-assembly, solvent structures and materials synthesis in deep eutectic solvents
  • Lipid nanodiscs for membrane protein supports & drug encapsulation
  • Biodegradable surfactant synthesis & characterisation
  • Polymer-surfactant and polymer-protein conjugates in films & particles for encapsulation/release
  • Functionalised cellulose nanofibril thickeners for sustainable aqueous formulations
  • Biodegradable microbeads and Pickering emulsions for formulations
  • Mesoporous inorganic oxide particles and membranes.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Karen Edler is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Research Output

Adsorption of a styrene maleic acid (SMA) copolymer-stabilized phospholipid nanodisc on a solid-supported planar lipid bilayer

Hall, S. C. L., Clifton, L. A., Tognoloni, C., Morrison, K. A., Knowles, T. J., Kinane, C. J., Dafforn, T. R., Edler, K. J. & Arnold, T., 11 Apr 2020, In : Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. 574, p. 272-284 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
1 Citation (Scopus)

Charge-driven interfacial gelation of cellulose nanofibrils across the water/oil interface

Calabrese, V., da Silva, M., Schmitt, J., Hossain, Z., Scott, J. L. & Edler, K. J., 14 Jan 2020, In : Soft Matter. 16, 2, p. 357-365

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
2 Citations (Scopus)

Core-shell spheroidal hydrogels produced via charge-driven interfacial complexation

Calabrese, V., Califano, D., Da Silva, M. A., Schmitt, J., Bryant, S. J., Hossain, K. M. Z., Percebom, A. M., Perez-gramatges, A., Scott, J. L. & Edler, K. J., 13 Mar 2020, In : ACS Applied Polymer Materials. 2, 3, p. 1213-1221 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Ensilicated tetanus antigen retains immunogenicity: in vivo study and time-resolved SAXS characterization

Doekhie, A., Dattani, R., Chen, Y-C., Yang, Y., Smith, A., Silve, A. P., Koumanov, F., Wells, S., Edler, K., Marchbank, K. J., Van Den Elsen, J. & Sartbaeva, A., 20 Feb 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Scientific Reports.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Dataset for 'Cationic surfactants as a non-covalent linker for oxidised cellulose nanofibrils and starch-based hydrogels'

Hossain, Z. (Creator), Calabrese, V. (Creator), Alves Da Silva, M. (Creator), Bryant, S. (Creator), Schmitt, J. (Creator), Scott, J. L. (Creator), Edler, K. (Creator), University of Bath, 31 Dec 2019


Dataset for "Alcohol induced gelation of TEMPO-oxidized cellulose nanofibril dispersions"

Alves Da Silva, M. (Creator), Calabrese, V. (Creator), Schmitt, J. (Creator), Celebi, D. (Creator), Scott, J. L. (Creator), Edler, K. (Creator), University of Bath, 22 Oct 2018



A study of the structure and formation of biocompatible mesostructured polymer- surfactant hydrogel films

Author: Holdaway, J., 26 Feb 2014

Supervisor: Edler, K. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Coarse-grained modelling for soft matter scattering

Author: McCluskey, A., 19 Jun 2019

Supervisor: Edler, K. (Supervisor) & Parker, S. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Decorated Cellulose Surfaces - Opportunities For Novel, Sustainable Ingredients For Formulated Products And Tissue Engineering Scaffolds

Author: Courtenay, J., 13 Feb 2019

Supervisor: Scott, J. (Supervisor), Edler, K. (Supervisor) & Sharma, R. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Deep Eutectic Solvents: Structure, Solvation, and Synthesis

Author: Hammond, O., 19 Jun 2019

Supervisor: Eslava Fernandez, S. (Supervisor) & Edler, K. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Electrical Transport Measurements of Phytantriol Mesophases

Author: Brown, R., 11 Oct 2017

Supervisor: Takashina, K. (Supervisor), Marken, F. (Supervisor) & Edler, K. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD