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 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 implants used clinically as bone grafts.  She works on the impact of air pollution on human health and fundemental mechanisms of bone mineralisation.  She also designs new nanomaterials to treat tuberculosis and breast cancers.  She collaborates with the National Heart and Lung Institute, the ICR, Crick and Rosalind Franklin Institutes.

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.

She is the Postgraduate Senior Tutor in the Dept. Materials and Course Coordinator for the Nanomaterials 2 course.

PhD position available in my group on:

‚óŹ Imaging a potential mechanistic link between air pollution exposure and Alzheimer's disease

Contact me or Francesco Aprile: if you have any questions about the position. 

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

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

McGuire E EC, Motskin M, Bolognesi B, et al., 2012, Selenium-Enhanced Electron Microscopic Imaging of Different Aggregate Forms of a Segment of the Amyloid β Peptide in Cells, Acs Nano

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

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

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