Adam Martin

Adam Martin

Adam Martin

NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow

Contact details

Phone: +61 9385 4660
Fax: +61 9385 6141


Room 126, Dalton Building

UNSW, Kensington, 2052

Biographical Details

BSc (Nanotechnology) (Honours) from Curtin University, 2003-2007. PhD in chemistry from the University of Western Australia, 2008-2011. Postdoctoral research associate, the University of Nottingham, 2011-2013. Postdoctoral research associate, the University of New South Wales, 2013-2016. NHRMC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow, 2016-current.

Research Interests

My research program encompasses both practical and fundamental aspects related to short peptide hydrogels. Within this framework, I am seeking to address fundamental questions about the mechanism behind hydrogel formation, which will lead to the improved and rational design of future gelators. I am developing structure-property relationships between families of gelators related either through their N-terminal capping group or amino acid sequence. This will allow for the evaluation of a number of factors including hydrophilicity, charge and hydrogen bonding potential, on the structure and function of short peptide hydrogels, again leading to shift away from empirical design of these molecules towards rational design strategies tailored for end-stage applications.

I also examine the applications of these functional materials, with a specific focus on using them for three dimensional cell culture. These short peptide hydrogels have a nanoscale structure which mimics the extracellular matrix (ECM), and their tuneable nature means that properties such as stiffness, mesh size and functionality can be controlled. This is especially important, as it has been shown that the nature of the ECM plays an important role in a number of processes, including stem cell differentiation. The homogeneity and self-assembled nature of short peptide hydrogels offers them advantages over current cell culture materials such as MatriGel, which is known for batch-to-batch variation. Within my research framework, short peptide hydrogels are used as three dimensional cell culture materials to study the effect of the ECM on the progression of Alzheimer's disease. The homogeniety and tunability of these hydrogel materials allows the early stages of plaque and tangle formation to be probed, and new diagnostic techniques developed.

Selected publications

  • Martin, A. D., Easun, T. L., Argent, S. P., Lewis, W., Blake, A. J., Schroder, M., "The effect of carboxylate position on the structure of a metal-organic framework derived from cyclotriveratrylene", CrystEngComm, 2016, doi:10.1039/c6ce01965j.
  • Banik, R., Roy, S.,Dlhan,L., Titis, J., Boca, R., Kirilov, A. M., Martin, A. D., Bauza, A., Frontera, A., Rodriguez-Dieguez, A., Salas, J. M., Das, S., "Self-assembly, synthesis, structure, topology and magnetic properties of a mononuclear Fe(III)-violurate derivative: a combined experimental and theoretical study", Dalton Trans., 2016, 45, 16166-16172.
  • Wojciechowski, J. P., Martin, A. D., Bhadbhade, M. M., Webb, J. E. A, Thordarson, P., "Halogen bonding influences perylene-core twists in non-core substituted perylene tetraesters", CrystEngComm, 2016, doi:10.1039/c6ce00929h. 
  • Martin, A. D., Wojciechowski, J. P., Bhadbhade, M. M., Thordarson, P., “A capped dipeptide that simultaneously exhibits gelation and crystallization behaviour”, Langmuir, 2016, 32, 2245-2250.
  • Martin, A. D., Wojciechowski, J. P., Warren, H., in het Panhuis, M., Thordarson, P., “Effect of heterocyclic capping groups on the self-assembly of a dipeptide hydrogel”, Soft Matter, 2016, 12, 2700-2707.
  • Hassan, M. M., Martin A. D., Thordarson, P., “Macromolecular crowding and hydrophobic effects on Fmoc-diphenylalanine hydrogel formation in PEG:water mixtures”, J. Mater. Chem. B., 2015, 3, 9269-9276.
  • Martin, A. D., Robinson, A. B., Thordarson, P., “Biocompatible small peptide super-hydrogelators bearing carbazole functionalities” J. Mater. Chem. B., 2015, 3, 2277-2280.
  • Martin, A. D., Britton, J., Easun, T. L., Blake, A. J., Lewis W., Schroder, M., “Hirshfeld surface investigation of structure directing interactions within dipicolinic acid derivatives”, Cryst. Growth Des., 2015, 15, 1697-1706.
  • Martin, A. D., Robinson, A. B., Mason, A. F., Wojciechowski, J. P., Thordarson, P., “Exceptionally strong hydrogels through self-assembly of an indole-capped dipeptide” Chem. Commun., 2014, 50, 15541-15544.
  • Martin, A. D., Houlihan, E., Morellini, N., Eggers, P. K., James, E., Stubbbs, K. A., Harvey, A. R., Fitzgerald, M., Raston, C. L., Dunlop, S. A., ‘Synthesis and Toxicology of p-Phosphonic acid calixarenes and O-Alkylated Analogues as Potential Calixarene-based Phospholipids’, ChemPlusChem, 2012, 77, 308-313.
  • Martin, A. D., Raston, C. L., ‘Multifunctional p-Phosphonated Calixarenes’, Chem. Commun., 2011, 47, 9764-9772.
  • Martin, A. D., Boulos, R. A., Stubbs, K. A., Raston, C. L., ‘Phosphonated Calix[4]arene-Based Amphiphiles as Scaffolds for Fluorescent Nano-fibres’, Chem. Commun., 2011, 47, 7329-7331.
  • Martin, A. D., Boulos, R. A., Hubble, L. H., Hartlieb, K. J., Raston, C. L., ‘Multifunctional Water-soluble Molecular Capsules Based on p-Phosphonic Acid Calix[5]arene’, Chem. Commun., 2011,47, 7353-7355.
  • Martin A. D., Spackman, M. A., Sobolev, A. N., Raston, C. L., “Variable Intercalation of Calcium Ions in Bilayers of Partially Deprotonated p-Phosphonic Acid Calix[4]arene”, Cryst. Growth Des., 2009,9, 3759-3764.