Dr Sarah S. Staniland

Sarah Staniland

Reader in Bionanoscience
Department of Chemistry
The University of Sheffield
Brook Hill
Sheffield S3 7HF
United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 (0) 114 222 9539
Email: s.s.staniland@sheffield.ac.uk

Staniland Group Website

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Sarah Staniland obtained her MChem degree at the University of Edinburgh in 2001. This was followed by a PhD in magnetic materials (dept. Chemistry, Edinburgh) which she completed in 2005. After this she won an independent EPSRC life science interface fellowship (2005-2008) at the University of Edinburgh where she initiated the research she is currently active in. This helped her transition from the chemical material sciences to interdisciplinary work at the interface with biology. She then moved to the University of Leeds to take up a Lectureship in Bionanoscience in the School of Physics and Astronomy where she was promoted to Associate Professor (2008-2013). She moved to Sheffield as a Senior Lecturer in Bionanoscience in 2013, and was promoted to Reader in 2017.


  • RSC Harrison-Meldola Prize (2016)

Research Keywords

Biomimetic, Biomineralisation, Magnetic nanoparticles, nanomagnetism, Protein mediated inorganic synthesis, magnetite, Magnetic bacteria, magnetosomes, liposomes, polymersomes, membrane proteins, surface arrays.

Teaching Interests

Maths, Bioinorganic chemistry.

Research Magnetic Particles Sarah Staniland

Our group seeks to synthesis novel precise bio/mineral nanomaterial architectures for nanotechnological and biomedical applications. Inspired by nature, we are using functional proteins such as biomineralisation proteins and lipid membrane to create hybrid functional nanomaterial and arrays. The main interest is the formation of membrane surrounded magnetite nanoparticles. These are biomineralised in nature within magnetic bacteria and are termed magnetosomes. Currently we are working on a number of projects such as:

  • using genetic engineering and transition metal solution chemistry to alter and enhance the magnetosome particles in vivo;
  • using the magnetic bacterial Mms proteins to control the synthesis of enhanced and functional magnetite nanoparticles in vitro;
  • performing these biomimetic formations on surfaces in organised and functional arrays;
  • using these and lipid membranes to surround the particles and attach them to surfaces;
  • Use physical and biological probes to analysis how these biomineralisation protein actually control this process so precisely.

The research is intrinsically multi-disciplinary, spanning: magnetic characterisation, chemical synthesis, nanotechnological engineering, proteomics, genetics, environmental, and micro-biology.


Undergraduate and postgraduate taught modules

  • Mathematics for Chemists 1 (Level 1)
    This course covers the basic principles of mathematics.
  • Biocoordination Chemistry (Level 3)
    This module provides an introduction to the role of inorganic materials (particularly transition metal ions) in biological systems.
  • Biomimetic Nanoparticle Synthesis (Level 4)
    This lecture course discusses the synthesis of nanoparticles using natural templates.

Support Teaching:

  • Tutorials: Level 1 General Chemistry
  • Skills for Success: Debates
  • Level 3 Literature Review

Laboratory Teaching:

  • Level 2 Inorganic Laboratories
  • Level 4 Research Project


Journal articles


Conference proceedings papers