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Personal profile


Nico's key research interest lies in the fabrication and surface modification of porous semiconductor materials for applications in biosensors, biochips, biomaterials and drug delivery.

A core research activity in his laboratory is the study of porous silicon based nanostructures and their surface chemistry. A current focus is the development of new nanostructured materials for biosensors, biochips, biomaterials and drug delivery.

He has authored over 330 peer-reviewed journal articles with over 7000 citations, h-index 42. Nico has received fellowships from the German Research Foundation (DFG), the CSIRO, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, is a recipient of the Tall Poppy Science Award, and was a finalist for the South Australian Scientist of the Year 2015 and the Australian Innovation Challenge. He is serving on the College of Experts of the Australian Research Council.

After completing his BSc at the University of Saarland (1993) and his MSc at the RWTH Aachen (1995) in Germany, Nico completed a PhD thesis (1999) in polymer surface chemistry at the DWI Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials. He received postdoctoral fellowships to work in the area of bio-organic chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.

In 2001 he became a Lecturer at Flinders University in Australia, an Associate Professor in 2006 and a full Professor in 2008.  From 2008-2011, he was the Associate Head of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Flinders University. Since 2012, he is a Professor in Chemistry and Materials Science at the Mawson Institute of the University of South Australia.

From 2013-2015, he was Deputy Director of the Mawson Institute at the University of South Australia and Program Leader of the Cooperate Research Centre for Cell Therapy Manufacturing. From 2014-2017, he was Node Leader in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science & Technology.

He currently is the Scientific Director of the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication, Professor at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Monash University and Science Leader at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

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Projects 2015 2023

Desmoglein-2; an unsuspected regulator of melanoma

Bonder, C. S., Voelcker, N. & Ebert, L. M.


Project: Research

ARC Training Centre for Personalised Therapeutics Technologies

Stewart, A. G., Pfleger, K. D. G., Voelcker, N., Pebay, A., Dottori, M., Lee, P., Elnathan, R., O'Connor, A. J., Rodger, J., Palaniswami, M. S., Doyle, B., Kennedy, B., Kameneva, T., Heng, J., Sercombe, T., Pouton, C., Zheng, M., Mangum, J. E., Volery, T., Lim, C. T., Herz, J., Baker, M. L., Lipscombe, R., Anderson, P., Keenan, M., Barker, A., Shand, T., Smith, B., Wadsworth, S., Tan, A., Rush, R., Gooley, A. A., Rose, S., Nicholson, J. & Munsie, M.

University of Melbourne, SMR Automotive Australia Pty Ltd, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Trajan Scientific and Medical, Monash University – Internal Faculty Contribution


Project: Research

Research Output 1998 2019

2 Citations (Scopus)

Advances in Microfluidic Blood–Brain Barrier (BBB) Models

Oddo, A., Peng, B., Tong, Z., Wei, Y., Tong, W. Y., Thissen, H. & Voelcker, N. H., 23 May 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Trends in Biotechnology. 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

Advances in Porous Silicon–Based Nanomaterials for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Applications

Tieu, T., Alba Martin, M., Elnathan, R., Cifuentes-Rius, A. & Voelcker, N. H., Jan 2019, In : Advanced Therapeutics. 2, 1, 25 p., 1800095.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
2 Citations (Scopus)

A fluorogenic probe based on chelation-hydrolysis-enhancement mechanism for visualizing Zn2+ in Parkinson's disease models

Zhang, G., Zhao, Y., Peng, B., Li, Z., Xu, C., Liu, Y., Zhang, C., Voelcker, N. H., Li, L. & Huang, W., 14 Apr 2019, In : Journal of Materials Chemistry B. 7, 14, p. 2252-2260 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Cellular Deformations Induced by Conical Silicon Nanowire Arrays Facilitate Gene Delivery

Chen, Y., Aslanoglou, S., Gervinskas, G., Abdelmaksoud, H., Voelcker, N. H. & Elnathan, R., 10 Oct 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Small. 1904819.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Deposition of aminomalononitrile-based films: Kinetics, chemistry, and morphology

Toh, R. J., Evans, R., Thissen, H., Voelcker, N. H., D'ischia, M. & Ball, V., 30 Jul 2019, In : Langmuir. 35, 30, p. 9896-9903 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Press / Media