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Nonappa Nonappa

Associate Professor (tenure track), Material Chemistry, specifically Nanochemistry
Tampere University
phone number+358504728897
Hervanta Campus

About me

I have a multidisciplinary research background, from organic and supramolecular chemistry, colloids, and electron microscopy to extracellular matrix design for patient-derived cancer tissue culture. I take inspiration from Nature´s extraordinary ability to design structures across length scales with ultimate precision. I am mainly fascinated by the economy, efficiency, and error-free design principles in nature. Our Precision Nanomaterials and Cancer Research Group is a multidisciplinary team of Chemists, Physicists, and Biologists working at the interface of materials science and biomedical sciences. We focus on efficient control of the structure, function, and interactions with the highest possible precision to develop multifunctional and biocompatible nanomaterials. Simultaneously, we develop in vitro preclinical models for personalised and precision breast cancer therapy. Our research works involve biopolymers and hydrogels for developing short-distance optical fibers, microlasers and scaffolds for cancer tissue culture. We use cutting-edge nanotechnological characterization, including state-of-the-art electron microscopy, for advanced material characterization.

Fields of expertise

  • Precision Nanomaterials
  • Precision Cancer Research
  • Biopolymer-based materials for optics and photonics
  • Cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) and electron tomography


Current Teaching (2020-Present)

KEB-64117: Bioorganic Chemistry (PERIOD III)

• Carbohydrates

• Amino acids, peptides and proteins

• Nucleic acids

• Enzymes, Coenzymes and Biocatalysis

• Vitamins

• Lipids

MOL-32366: Advanced Materials Characterization (PERIOD III)

• Cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (Cryo-TEM)

• Electron Tomography


PHYS-E0422 - Soft Condensed Matter Physics (Aalto University)

• Thermodynamics of self-assembly

• Surfactant self-assembly

• Polymers, block copolymers and self-assembly

Project links

Top achievements

  • Web of Science top 1% reviewers for cross-field-2019. 
  • Top 1% reviewers for Materials Science- 2018 by Publons Ltd. 
  • Top 1% reviewers for Chemistry- 2018 by Publons Ltd. 
  • Excellent Reviewer Award-2018 by Publons Ltd. 
  • Top 1% of peer reviewers in Chemistry-2017 
  • Sentinels of Science-2017 Top (2nd) reviewer for Finland award (2017). 
  • MPDI Top Reviewer Award (2018). 
  • Top reviewers (10%) award in materials science by Publons Ltd. (2016). 
  • Chemistry´s most prolific reviewers' award by Publons Ltd (2016). 
  • Eli Lilly Asia Outstanding thesis award by Eli Lilly & Company Ltd. Indianapolis, USA, in 2009. 
  • Prof. Gajendraghad Gold Medal for Academic Excellence, Mangalore University, 2004.


Research career

      Education, Degree, Titles, and Certificates

  • 2018-2024: Abilitazione Scientifica Nationale (ASN), Chemistry of Nanomaterials, MIUR, Italy
  • 2017           Title of Docent in Soft Matter Microscopy, Aalto University, Finland
  • 2008           Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Organic Chemistry, IISc Bangalore, India
  • 2003           Master of Science (MSc in Chemistry, Mangalore University, India
  • 2001           Bachelor of Science (BSc, PCB) Mangalore University, India

    Other  Degrees and Certificates

  • 2020         Executive Master of Business Administration, Quantic School of Business and Technology, Washington D.C., USA.
  • 2019         Fundamentals of Business, Quantic School of Business and Technology, Washington D.C., USA

      Previous work experience

  • 2017-2020   Adjunct Professor in Soft Matter Microscopy, Aalto University, Finland
  • 2012-2017   Research Fellow, Dept. of Applied Physics, Aalto University, Finland
  • 2009-2012  Postdoctoral Researcher, Dept. of Chemistry, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
  • 2011           Visiting Researcher (mobility): IOCB, Prague, Czech Republic
  • 2008-2009  Visiting Ph.D. student (mobility), University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Selected publications

Visit our research group page for more details: 

  • Bioinspired Functionally Graded Composite Assembled Using Cellulose Nanocrystals and Genetically Engineered Proteins with Controlled Biomineralization. P.Mohammadi, J.-A. Gandier, Nonappa, W. Wagermaier, A. Miserez, M. Penttilä, Adv. Mater. 2021, 33, 2102658 [Link] 
  • Luminescent Gold Nanocluster‐Methylcellulose Composite Optical Fibers with Low Attenuation Coefficient and High Photostability. V. Hynninen, S. Chandra, S. Das, M. Amini, Y. Dai, S. Lepikko, P. Mohammadi, S. Hietala, R. H. A. Ras, Z. Sun, O. Ikkala, Nonappa, Small 2021, 17, 2005205 [Link] 
  • Nanocellulose: Recent fundamental advances and emerging biological and biomimicking applications. K. Heise, E. Kontturi, Y, Allahverdiyeva, T. Tammelin, M. B. Linder, Nonappa, O. Ikkala. Adv. Mater. 2021, 2004349 [Link].   
  • DNA Origami Templated Growth of Multilamellar Lipid Assemblies. S. Julin, Nonappa, B. Shen V. Linko M. A. Kostiainen, Angewandte. Chem. Intl. Ed. 2021. [Link]  
  • Luminescent gold nanoclusters for bioimaging applications. Nonappa, Beil. J. Nanotechnol. 2020, 11, 533–546 [Link].   
  • Atomically Precise Nanocluster Assemblies Encapsulating Plasmonic Gold Nanorods, A. Chakraborty, A. C. Fernandez, A. Som, B. Mondal, G. Natarajan, G. Paramasivam, T. Lahtinen, H. Häkkinen, Nonappa, T. Pradeep. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 6522-6526 [Link].   
  • Polymer Nanowires with Highly Precise Internal Morphology and Topography, Théophile Pelras, Clare S Mahon, Nonappa, Olli Ikkala, André H Gröschel, Markus Müllner, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 12736-12740 [Link] 
  • Hydrogen bonding directed colloidal self-assembly of nanoparticles into 2D crystals, capsids, and supracolloidal assemblies. Nonappa, O. Ikkala, Adv. Funct. Mater. 2018, 28, 1704328 [Link].   
  • Reversible supracolloidal self-assembly of cobalt nanoparticles to capsids and superstructures. Nonappa, J. S. Haataja, J. V. I Timonen, S. Malola, P. Engelhardt, N. Houbenov, M. Lahtinen, H. Häkkinen, O. Ikkala, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 6473-6477 [Link].    
  • Template-free supracolloidal self-assembly of atomically precise gold nanoclusters: From 2D colloidal crystals to spherical capsids. Nonappa, T. Lahtinen, J. S. Haataja, T. –R. Tero, H. Häkkinen, O. Ikkala, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 16035–16038 [Link].