Chris Holland

Dr Chris Holland

BA, MSc, D.Phil
Senior Lecturer in Natural Materials

Chair of IOM3 Natural Materials Association

Telephone: +44 (0) 114 222 5477
Fax: +44 (0) 114 222 5943

Address: Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Sir Robert Hadfield Building, Mappin Street, Sheffield, S1 3JD

Chris joined the department at the start of 2013 and is head of the Natural Materials Group, currently holding an EPSRC Early Career Fellowship. He is an associate editor for ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering and also the Chair of the Natural Materials Association. Previously he was at Oxford where he undertook his BA in Biological Sciences, MSc in Integrative Biosciences, D. Phil and later a Fellowship By Examination (a.k.a JRF) whilst working in the Oxford Silk Group.

Research interests

Chris’ research uses tools developed for the physical sciences to better understand Nature’s materials, from latex to collagen, but with a focus on silk. By investigating unspun silk’s flow properties he has been able to gain unique insights into their biodiversity, structure and evolution. Additionally, this work has made important links between natural and industrial fibre processing which has lead to a fundamentally new way of designing, testing and fabricating bio-inspired materials.

Today he combines multiple instruments with rheology, from microscopes (confocal) and spectrometers (IR) to synchrotrons (SANS at ISIS and SAXS/WAXS at ESRF) in order to understand exactly how silk proteins arrange themselves into one of Nature’s most impressive materials.

Research group

Please refer to group website

Current projects

SPICE: Silk Processing In Controlled Environments: investigating the flow properties of silk and its natural processing. EPSRC Early Career Fellowship

Key publications

For a full list of publications please go to the more regularly updated group website

  • 2018 Sparkes, J. and Holland, C. The rheological properties of native sericin. Acta Biomaterialia.
  • 2017 Wan, Q. Abrams, K. Masters, R. Talari, A. Rehman, I. Claeyssens, F. Holland, C. Rodenburg, C. Mapping nanostructural variations in silk by secondary electron hyperspectral imaging. Advanced Materials.
  • 2017 Sparkes, J. and Holland, C. Analysis of the pressure requirements for silk spinning reveals a pultrusion dominated process. Nature Communications.
  • 2017 Shimanovich, U. et al., Silk micrococoons for protein stabilisation and molecular encapsulation. Nature Communications.
  • 2017 Kwak, H. W., Ju, E. J., Shin, M., Holland, C. and Lee, K. H. Sericin promotes Fibroin Silk I stabilization across a phase-separation. Biomacromolecules.
  • 2017 Koeppel, A. and Holland, C. Progress and Trends in Artificial Silk Spinning: A Systematic Review. ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering.
  • 2016 Laity, P. R., & Holland, C. (2016). Native Silk Feedstock as a Model Biopolymer: A Rheological Perspective. Biomacromolecules.
  • 2015 Laity, P. Gilks, S. Holland, C. Rheological behavior of native silk feedstocks. Polymer.
  • 2014 Mortimer, B. Gordon, Shira D. Holland, C. Siviour, C. Vollrath, F. Windmill.J. The Speed of Sound in Silk: Linking Material Performance to Biological Function. Advanced Materials.
  • 2013 Mortimer, B. Holland, C. Vollrath, F. forced reeling of Bombyx mori silk: separating behaviour and processing conditions. Biomacromolecules.
  • 2012 Holland, C. Vollrath, F. Ryan, A.J. Mykhaylyk, O.O. Silk and Synthetic Polymers; Reconciling 100 Degrees of Separation. Advanced Materials. **Cover Article**
  • 2011 Boulet-Audet, M. Vollrath, F. Holland, C. Rheo-Attenuated Total Reflectance infrared spectroscopy: a new tool to study biopolymers. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.
  • 2007 Holland, C. Terry, A. Porter, D. Vollrath, F. Natural and Unnatural Silks. Polymer.
  • 2006 Holland, C.A. Terry, A.E. Porter, D. P. Vollrath, F.V. Comparing the rheology of native spider and silkworm spinning dope. Nature Materials.