Personal profile

Research interests

My research is in biomaterials and tissue engineering with current focus on functional tissue and organ replacement strategies for kidney, liver and eye. I am interested in the replacement of tissues and organs using nanostructured adsorbent and smart polymer materials which can be modified with bioactive molecules to improve biocompatibility and functional performance. I am interested in better understanding the mechanisms that impact the cell-biomaterial interface and in the development of functional biomaterials for cell guidance, the control of infection, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Such materials may be used for example, to improve the removal of inflammatory molecules and bacterial toxins which current limit the efficacy of dialysis for kidney and liver disease, as enterosorbents to slow the progression of liver disease, in the development of a wearable artificial kidney and in the development of corneal and lens replacement strategies for ophthalmic tissue engineering. Working within international networks of academic, clinical, and industrial partners, I have led research projects funded by UK NIHR i4i (DART and ADEPT), EU FP7 IAPP (ACROBAT), EU Horizon 2020 (CARBALIVE), British Council GII (NOMAD) and UKRI MRC (MXene for accommodating IOL) funding streams. I am a co-inventor on biomedical materials patents linked to this grant activity. 

I have served on grant review panels including as a member of the British Council Newton fund Biological and Medical Sciences panel (2014-) and as a peer reviewer for EU Horizon 2020, UKRI MRC, BBSRC and NIHR i4i funding programmes. I am an editor for Scientific Reports, the Journal of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering and BioMed Research International. 

Supervisory Interests

I supervise students in research areas related to biomedical materials and tissue engineering. I'm particularly interested in cell-biomaterial interactions and in strategies to understand changing tissue dynamics in disease and injury in order to optimise functional tissue repair and replacement.

Current PhD Students   

Natalia Noriega (2019-2022) Optoelectronic bionanomaterials for ophthalmic biosensing

Grace Cooksley (2019-2022) Optoelectronic nanomaterials to reduce the complications associated with cataract surgery

Neda Hedari (2017-2021)The role of senescence in bioartificial liver design

Emma Ward (2017-2021)A new class of two dimensional optoelectronic materials in accommodating intraocular lens design

Dr Vankata Avadhanam (2013 - current)Clinico-radiological study of OOKP lamina and development of a synthetic lamina


Previous PhD Students

Wulan Koagouw (2017-2021)Integrative Assessment of Marine Pollution - Impact of Pharmaceuticals on Marine Bivalves

Flavia Bonalumi (2017-2020)Engineering a bioartificial liver prototype using cell loaded macroporous hydrogel scaffolds

Tochukwu Ozulumba (2015 - 2019)Nanostructured scaffolds for remediation of environmental and biological tissue contaminants

Elsie Fok (2013) The development of advanced corneal epithelial stem cell delivery systems for the treatment of corneal epithelial defects 

Yishan Zheng  (2012) Hybrid filtration adsorbent systems for extracorporeal applications 

Scholarly biography

Dr Susan Sandeman is a Reader in Biomaterials with a research focus on understanding and improving the physiological interaction of materials used in devices to treat organ failure.  

After finishing her undergraduate studies at Queen Mary, University of London, Dr Sandeman went on to complete a PhD at the University of Brighton in ophthalmic biomaterials and tissue engineering. Her research identified senescence associated changes in the wound healing response to scaffold materials for use in corneal tissue replacement. Through a number of post-doctoral research positions Dr Sandeman developed an interest in porous hydrogel and synthetic carbon based adsorbents for medical device applications.

Dr Sandeman became a Principal Research Fellow in 2011 and Reader in 2015 in addition to her role as Deputy and then Director of Postgraduate Studies from 2011-18 . She has been principal investigator on grants totalling more than £2 million from NIHR, EU FP7, British council and MRC funding sources, in addition to industrial and Horizon 2020 funding sources. She leads a research group of PDRAs and PhD students investigating the biological interaction of nanomaterials and smart polymer scaffolds for functional organ replacement. Their work has specifically targeted treatment of kidney and liver disease, cytokine and pathogen associated toxin removal to treat life-threatening infection and advanced materials for intraocular lens.

Approach to teaching

Dr Sandeman teaches topics related to biomedical physiology, biomaterials, tissue engineering and medical device technologies. She aims to equip students with tools that promote both conceptual understanding and critical thought, linking foundational learning to its application in current research innovation.

Dr Sandeman is an advocate for the pivotal role of postgraduate research students in scientific innovation and the need for ambitious international, interdisciplinary, industry linked training programmes to better facilitate innovation across disciplinary boundaries.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Factors affecting keratocyte colonisation of novel keratoprosthetic biomaterials, University of Brighton


Award Date: 1 Feb 1999

Bachelor, Basic Medical Sciences with Pharmacology, Queen Mary University of London


Award Date: 1 Jul 1996

External positions

Expert reviewer

2020 → …


  • Q Science (General)
  • Biomaterials
  • tissue engineering
  • wound healing
  • inflammation
  • medical devices
  • artificial organs
  • host response biology
  • biointerface


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