+44 (0)131 451 8145
Room NG 22
John Coulson Building
Heriot-Watt University

My research interests in Materials Chemistry focus on the design of nanomaterials for biomedicines, catalysis and the environment. There are four types of nanomaterials have been developed in my research programme; functionalized magnetic nanoparticles, nanoporous inorganic-organic hybrids, nanostructured inorganic oxides and natural polymer nanomaterials. Areas of application include carbon capture and storage, enzyme immobilization, heterogeneous catalysis, environmental remediation, gene delivery, imaging, drug storage, antibacteria and hyperthermia.

Current research projects:

1. Nanomaterials for Carbon Capture and Storage (funded by EPSRC/SFC) – two PhD students have been appointed to carry out two 3½ years project on developing (i) inorganic-organic hybrid nanoporous materials and (ii) natural polymer nanomaterials for carbon dioxide adsorption, separation and storage. This is part of the nation-wide Carbon Capture and Storage Consortium.

2. Fluorescent Magnetic Nanoparticles for Tissue Engineering (collaboration with Edinburgh) – a collaboration work between School of Medicine, Edinburgh (Grigore Richitor) and Engineering (Pierre Bagnaninchi) to study the use of fluorescent magnetic nanoparticle in tissue engineering and bone regeneration.

3. Multifunctional Magnetic Nanoparticles for Imaging and Gene Delivery (collaboration with Liverpool/Keele) – an ongoing research collaboration with Matt Rosseinsky FRS and Divya Chari to study nervous system regeneration will continue. The research work is based on a multifunctional magnetic nanoparticle system with a combined bimodal imaging and gene delivery property.

4. Nanoporous Gold Particles as a New Material for Electrochemistry (collaboration with CNSR, Bordeaux) – a collaboration with the Analytical Chemistry group in Bordeaux for the development of nanoporous gold particles as a coating materials for electrode. Application is on the detection of biomolecules of low concentration in complex matrices.

5. Nanoparticles Formation using Ultra Mixing (collaboration with Liverpool) – this is to utilize the UMPF facilities at Liverpool for the large-scale production of nanoparticles. Originally a Master project, nanoparticles of natural polymers have been prepared by several mixing method including the use of UMPF.

Selected publications


“Nanotemplating – Engineering the Nanocomposite Materials for the Future” Stanford Press, to be completed in 2012.

Invited Reviews

1. H.H.P. Yiu, Engineering the multifunctional surface on magnetic nanoparticles for targeted biomedical applications: a chemical approach, Nanomedicine, 2011, in press.

2. S.C. McBain, H.H.P. Yiu, J. Dobson, Magnetic nanoparticles for gene and drug delivery, Int. J. Nanomedicine, 2008, 3, 169-180.

3. H.H.P. Yiu, P.A. Wright, Enzymes supported on ordered mesoporous solids: a special case of an inorganic-organic hybrid, J. Mater. Chem., 2005, 15, 3690-3700.

Archival Journal Articles

4. C.I. Olariu, H.H.P. Yiu, L. Bouffier, T. Nedjadi, E. Costello, S.R. Williams, C.M. Halloran, M.J. Rosseinsky, Multifunctional Fe3O4 nanoparticles for targeted bi-modal imaging of pancreatic cancer, J. Mater. Chem., 2011, 21, 12650-12659

5. L. Bouffier, H.H.P. Yiu, M.J. Rosseinsky, Chemical grafting of a DNA intercalator probe onto functional iron oxide nanoparticles: a physicochemical study, Langmuir, 2011, 27, 6185–6192.

6. U.A. Joshi, J.R. Darwent, H.H.P. Yiu, M.J. Rosseinsky, Highly efficient visible light photocatalytic activity of platinum loaded nanocrystalline tungsten oxide for degradation of methyl orange with potential for wastewater treatment, J. Chem. Technol. Biotechnol., 2011, 86, 1018-1023.

7. R.T. Woodward, C.I. Olariu, E.A. Hasan, H.H.P. Yiu, M.J. Rosseinsky, J.V.M. Weaver Multi-responsive polymer-stabilized magnetic engineered emulsions as liquid-based switchable magneto-responsive actuators, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 4335-4340.

8. H.H.P. Yiu, H.J. Niu, E. Biersman, G. van Tendeloo, M.J. Rosseinsky, Designed multifunctional materials for biomedical applications, Adv. Funct. Mater., 2010, 20, 1599-1609.

9. H.H.P. Yiu, S.C. McBain, Z.A.D. Lethbridge, M.R. Lees, J. Dobson, Preparation and characterization of polyethyleneimine (PEI) coated magnetite-MCM48 nanocomposite particles for gene delivery, J. Biomed. Mater. Res. A, 2010, 92A, 386-392.

10. H.H.P. Yiu, M.A. Keane, Z.A.D. Lethbridge, M.R. Lees, J. Dobson, Synthesis of novel magnetic iron metal-mesoporous silica composite with high iron content using temperature-programmed reduction (TPR) with potential medical applications, Nanotechnology, 2008, 19, 255606.

11. H.H.P. Yiu, S.C. McBain, A.J. El Haj, J. Dobson, A triple-layer design for polypropylenimine-coated nanostructured magnetic particles and their use in DNA binding, Nanotechnology, 2007, 18, 435601.

12. S.C. McBain, H.H.P. Yiu, A. El Haj, J. Dobson, Polyethylenimine functionalized iron oxide nanoparticles as agents for DNA delivery and transfection, J. Mater. Chem., 2007, 17, 2561-2565.

Book Chapters

13. C. Olariu, H.H.P. Yiu, L. Bouffier, Inorganic-organic hybrid nanoparticles for medical applications, in New Frontiers of Nanoparticles and Nanocomposite Materials – Novel Principles and Techniques, A. Oechsner Ed, Springer, 2011. (ISBN: 3642146961)

14. H.H.P. Yiu, K.K. Liu, Mechanical and magnetic stimulation for bone regeneration, in Biomechanics of Hard Tissues, A. Oechsner, W. Ahmed, N. Ali Eds., John Wiley and Sons, 2010. (ISBN: 3527324313)

15. M.J. Maple, T.D. Coombs, H.H.P. Yiu, Synthesis and applications of inorganic-organic hybrid nanostructured materials, in Nanocomposite Coatings and Nanocomposite Materials, A. Oechsner, W. Ahmed, N. Ali Eds., Trans Tech Publications Inc., 2008. (ISBN: 0878493468)

16. H.H.P. Yiu, Ordered nanoporous silica materials for biomolecular systems, in Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, W. Ahmed, N. Ali, A. Öchsner, N. S. Hussain Eds., Trans Tech Publications Inc., 2007. (ISBN: 0878494804)

17. H.H.P. Yiu, P.A. Wright, Nanostructured materials as a carrier for enzyme immobilization, in Nanoporous Materials – Science and Engineering, 849-872, G.Q.M. Lu, X.S. Zhao Eds., Imperial College Press, 2004. (ISBN: 1860942105)


2010 to date: Lecturer, Chemical Engineering, Heriot-Watt University

2008-2010: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dept of Chemistry, University of Liverpool

2004-2007: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Inst of Science and Technology in Medicine, Keele University

2002-2003: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Greenwich

1999-2002: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dept of Chemistry, University of St. Andrews

1995-1998: PhD, University of Huddersfield

1994-1995: MSc, University of Salford

1990-1993: BSc, University of Hong Kong