Chris Holland

Dr Chris Holland

BA, MSc, D.Phil
EPSRC Early Career Fellow

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 also the Chair of RAPS, an organisation for Recent Appointees in Polymer Science. 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
  • 2015 Walker, A. Holland, C. Sutherland, T. More than one way to spin a crystallite: Multiple trajectories through liquid crystallinity to solid silk, Proceedings of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282, 20150259 access
  • 2015 Laity, P. Gilks, S. Holland, C. Rheological behavior of native silk feedstocks. Polymer 67 28-39 access
  • 2015 Mortimer, B. Guan, J. Holland, C*. Porter, D. Vollrath, F. Linking naturally and unnaturally spun silks through the forced reeling of Bombyx mori. Acta Biomaterialia 11 247-255 access
  • 2014 Vollrath, F. Hawkins, N. Holland, C. Porter, D. Boulet-Audet, M. Differential Scanning Fluorimetry provides high throughput data on silk protein transitions Scientific Reports 4 5625 access
  • 2014 Holland, C.* Vollrath, F. Gill, H. Horses and cows might teach us about human knees. Naturwissenshaften, 101 (4) 351-354 access
  • 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. access
  • 2014 Boulet-Audet, M., Terry, A., Vollrath, F. Holland, C. Silk protein aggregation kinetics revealed by Rheo IR. Acta Biomaterialia, 10 (2): 776-784 access
  • 2014 Bauer, G. Friedrich, C. Gillig, C. Speck, T. Holland, C. Investigating the Rheological Properties of Native Plant Latex. Interface 11, 20130847 access
  • 2013 Mortimer, B. Holland, C. Vollrath, F. forced reeling of Bombyx mori silk: separating behaviour and processing conditions. Biomacromolecules 14 (10): 3653-3659 access
  • 2013 Porter, D., Vollrath, F., Holland, C. The Science Of Silks. MRS Bulletin, 38 (1): 73-80 access
  • 2012 Drodge, D. R., Mortimer, B., Holland, C., Siviour, C. R. Ballistic Impact to Access the High-Rate Behaviour of Individual Silk Fibres, Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids 60 (10) 1710-21 access
  • 2012 Holland, C. Vollrath, F. Ryan, A.J. Mykhaylyk, O.O. Silk and Synthetic Polymers; Reconciling 100 Degrees of Separation Advanced Materials 24 (1) 105-109 access **Cover Article**
  • 2012 Holland, C. Urbach, J. Blair, D. Direct Visualization of Shear Dependent Silk Fibrillogenesis Soft Matter 8 2590-4 access **Cover Article**
  • 2011 Chaudhury, S. Holland, C. Vollrath, F. Carr, A. Comparing normal and torn rotator cuff tendons using dynamic shear analysis Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 93-B (7) 942-948 access
  • 2011 Boulet-Audet, M. Vollrath, F. Holland, C. Rheo-Attenuated Total Reflectance infrared spectroscopy: a new tool to study biopolymers. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 13 3979-3984 access
  • 2007 Holland, C. Terry, A. Porter, D. Vollrath, F. Natural and Unnatural Silks. Polymer 48 3388-3392 access
  • 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 5 870-5 access **Cover Article**