Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Materials

Professor of Bio-imaging and Analysis



+44 (0)20 7594 9691a.porter




B341 Royal School of MinesRoyal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus





Alexandra's group uses correlative electron microscopy techniques to characterise interfaces between synthetic bio / nanomaterials and tissues and also tissue pathologies. She originally worked on electron microscopy (EM) of bone-implant interfaces and has published several papers on this interface.

Her current interests are:

1. Application of multimodal characterisation techniques to relate transformations of nano- and biomaterials in complex environments to their mechanisms of bioreactivity for understanding their health and environmental safety. 

2. Development of 3D and analytical TEM techniques to analyse low contrast, radiation sensitive materials, such as polymers and carbon based nanomaterials in tissues and to enhance contrast from organic materials, such as reverse osmosis membranes.

3. Development of multimodal nanomaterials as theranostics for treatment of breast cancers and neurodegenerative diseases.

4. High resolution characterization of the fundamental bone mineralization process.

These projects are extremely multidisciplinary and involve large collaborations between international teams of clincians, cell biologists, chemists and engineers.

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 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.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Porter AE, Gass M, Bendall JS, 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

Muller KH, Kulkarni J, Motskin M, 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

McGuire EK, Motskin M, Bolognesi B, 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

Boonrungsiman S, Gentleman E, Carzaniga R, 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

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