If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


We can already make synthetic cells with an impressive array of abilities - let's go further, and see if we can tackle some of societies biggest problems along the way.

Research profile

After receiving his doctorate in early 2017, Alex joined the group of Prof. Jan van Hest (Bio-Organic Chemistry) at TU/e. Alex's current research is focused on cell-sized, coacervate-based synthetic cells. His expertise in polymer synthesis, self-assembly, and microscopy has led to the development of a modular and robust platform capable of incorporating many different kinds of functional elements. For the last couple of years, Alex has been working together with Jan and an incredible team of researchers to expand the capabilities of this coacervate protocell platform.

Looking ahead, Alex has his sights set on even bigger systems – well, relatively – from the micron to millimetre scale. In 2019, Alex started a collaboration with Prof. Hagan Bayley at Oxford University, with the aim of utilising their expertise in 3D droplet printing to create coacervate-based artificial tissues. The ability to print synthetic cells with spatially well-defined functionalities also provides an interesting avenue for future applications in biomedical engineering.

Academic background

Alex obtained both his bachelor (BSc Nanotechnology, 2012) and postgraduate (PhD Chemistry, 2017) degrees from the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia. He was inspired early in his research career by the incredible potential of self-assembly, which led him to work with Prof. Pall Thordarson for his PhD, who introduced him to the weird and wonderful world of synthetic cells. The aim of Alex’s doctoral thesis was to create an artificial mitochondria by incorporating membrane-bound proteins within nanoscale polymer vesicles, developing expertise in polymer synthesis, bioconjugate chemistry, and advanced nanoparticle characterisation methods along the way. Alex joined the van Hest lab early in 2017 for his first postdoc, and in late 2019 was appointed as an ICMS Fellow.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Alexander Mason is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 9 Similar Profiles
Polymers Chemical Compounds
Artificial Cells Medicine & Life Sciences
Membranes Chemical Compounds
Self assembly Chemical Compounds
Hydrogels Chemical Compounds
Medical nanotechnology Chemical Compounds
Block copolymers Chemical Compounds
Earth (planet) Chemical Compounds

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2013 2019

  • 166 Citations
  • 13 Article
  • 2 Review article
  • 1 Meeting Abstract
3 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)

ATP-mediated transient behavior of stomatocyte nanosystems

Che, H., Zhu, J., Song, S., Mason, A. F., Cao, S., Pijpers, I. A. B., Abdelmohsen, L. K. E. A. & van Hest, J. C. M., 9 Sep 2019, In : Angewandte Chemie - International Edition. 58, 37, p. 13113-13118 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Adenosine Triphosphate
Molecular interactions
5 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)

Development of morphologically discrete PEG-PDLLA nanotubes for precision nanomedicine

Wauters, A. C., Pijpers, I. A. B., Mason, A. F., Williams, D. S., Tel, J., Abdelmohsen, L. K. E. A. & van Hest, J. C. M., 14 Jan 2019, In : Biomacromolecules. 20, 1, p. 177-183 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Medical nanotechnology
Polyethylene glycols
Particle interactions
5 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
Cell membranes
Cell culture
Self assembly

Multifaceted cell mimicry in coacervate-based synthetic cells

Mason, A. & Hest, van, J. C. M., Nov 2019, In : Emerging Topics in Life Sciences. 3, 5, p. 567-571 5.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Natural sciences
Earth (planet)
2 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)

Physicochemical characterization of polymer-stabilized coacervate protocells

Yewdall, N. A., Buddingh, B. C., Altenburg, W. J., Timmermans, S. B. P. E., Vervoort, D. F. M., Abdelmohsen, L. K. E. A., Mason, A. F. & van Hest, J., 15 Oct 2019, In : ChemBioChem. 20, 20, p. 2643-2652 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Artificial Cells
Biochemical Phenomena

Activities 2019 2019

  • 1 Visiting an external academic institution

University of Oxford

Alexander Mason (Visiting researcher), Hagan Bayley (Visiting lecturer)
2019 → …

Activity: Visiting an external institution typesVisiting an external academic institutionScientific

Press / Media

Plastic nanoparticles inspired by nature could improve cancer drug delivery

Alexander Mason


6 items of Media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery to Tumors Developed

Alexander Mason


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Nature Inspires Non-spherical Drug Delivery Nanoparticles

Alexander Mason


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment