Alexandra's group uses correlative electron microscopy techniques to characterise interfaces between biomaterials and cells. Her great interest is in developing a mechanistic understanding of how the chemistry of these materials controls their degradation behaviour, and ultimate bioactivity, to improve their performance and safety. This interest stemmed from her PhD on understanding the mechanisms by which silicon increases the quality of bone around hydroxyapatite bone grafts (now being sold by Baxter). She works on a number of systems, including the environmental fate and toxicology of nanomaterials / plastics and how bone's quality and toughness become altered in pathological tissues. She also designs new nanomaterials to cross the blood brain barrier and treat Parkinson's disease and for treatment of tuberculosis and breast cancers.
Alexandra holds and MEng from Oxford University, and a PhD from Cambridge University in Biomedical Materials. She worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, MIT and The Nanoscience Centre Cambridge, under the guidance of Sir Mark Welland and Prof. Paul Midgley. She held the Oppenheimer Research fellowship for physical sciences at Cambridge University and a Junior Research Fellowship at Newhall College, Cambridge.
et al., 2009, Uptake of Noncytotoxic Acid-Treated Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes into the Cytoplasm of Human Macrophage Cells, ACS Nano, Vol:3, ISSN:1936-0851, Pages:1485-1492
et al., 2010, pH-Dependent Toxicity of High Aspect Ratio ZnO Nanowires in Macrophages Due to Intracellular Dissolution, ACS Nano, Vol:4, ISSN:1936-0851, Pages:6767-6779
et al., 2012, Selenium-Enhanced Electron Microscopic Imaging of Different Aggregate Forms of a Segment of the Amyloid beta Peptide in Cells, ACS Nano, Vol:6, ISSN:1936-0851, Pages:4740-4747
et al., 2012, The role of intracellular calcium phosphate in osteoblast-mediated bone apatite formation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol:109, ISSN:0027-8424, Pages:14170-14175