Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Design


Robabeh Gharaei

PhD Researcher

Clothworkers' Building South, Room 3.14

BSc(Hons) Tehran polytechnic, MSc(Distinction) Leeds University

PhD Student in Fibre Science and Technology with focus on Medical Application of Textile Materials.

Current research interests:

Process- structure- property relation of nano fibrous materials enriched with peptides and proteins.

Chemical and biological evaluation of textile biomaterials for use in Tissue Engineering.


I obtained my Bachelor of Science with Honors (1st class) degree in Textile Engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic), Tehran, Iran. My study centered on textile technology and fibre science and my final project looked at the tactile and thermal comfort of weft knitted fabrics. After this degree, I worked in Clothing Industry as a quality control engineer for one year. I then realized my passion and interest in technical aspects of textiles and I came to Leeds to study on the MSc Advanced Textiles and Performance Clothing course, and I graduated with distinction in 2012. Perceiving my strengths and interests in medical textiles, I decided to pursue my studies for a PhD (Januray2013) receiving a University scholarship. I am now become involved in research relating to detailed investigation of textile biomaterials processing and their properties as tissue engineered scaffolds.


Research Interests

  • Designing and Developing Nonwovens for Technical and Medical Textiles and Healthcare Products.
  • Biomaterials, Tissue Engineering and Self assembling Peptides Based Scaffolds.
  • Nanotechnology Behind Nanofibrous Structures, their Processing and Properties.
  • Chemical, Morphological and Biological Characterisation of Textile Materials.



1) Gharaei, R., Tronci, G., Davies, R. P., Gough, C., Alazragi, R., Goswami, P., & Russell, S. J. (2016). ‘A structurally self-assembled peptide nano-architecture by one-step electrospinning’. Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 4(32), 5475-5485.

2) Gharaei R, Tronci G., Davies R.P., Goswami P., & Russell S.J. (2016). ‘An Investigation into the Nano-/Micro-Architecture of Electrospun Poly(e-Caprolactone) and Self-assembling Peptide Fibres’, MRS Advances, 1(11), 2016, 711 – 716.

Conference Presentations:

1) Oral presentation titled ‘Bioactive Nanofibres Enriched with Self-assembling Peptides for Tissue Repair’, Nanofibres, Applications and Related Technologies (NART), Sep 2016, Raleigh, USA.
2) Invited speaker for a presentation titled ‘Structure and Properties of Nanofibrous Materials Capable of Bone Tissue Regeneration, Challenges with Electrospun Nanofibres’, International Nonwovens Symposium, Jun 2016, Warsaw, Poland.
3) Oral presentation titled ‘Structurally Reinforced Biomimetic Self-assembling Peptide Scaffold Promotes Hydroxyapatite crystallisation’, Materials Research Society (MRS) Fall meeting, Dec 2015, Boston, USA
4) Award-winning poster presentation titled ‘Nanofibrous Scaffold of Polycaprolactone (PCL) and Self-assembling Peptide (SAP) for Functional Tissue Engineering’, Nonwoven Innovation Academy, Nov 2015, Leeds, UK
5) Oral presentation titled ‘Production of Nanostructured Nonwovens Containing Self-assembling Peptides’ Nonwoven Innovation Academy, Nov 2013, Lille, France
6) Poster presentation titled ‘Electrospun Assembly of Nanofibrous PCL (Polycaprolactone)/SAP (Self-assembling peptides) scaffold’, Nonwoven Research Academy, Apr 2012, Goteborg, Sweden.

Research Centres & Groups

Centre for Textile Materials Innovation for Healthcare

Centre for Technical Textiles

Nonwovens Research Group (NRG)

PhD Thesis

In tissue engineering cells can be seeded into a biocompatible and biodegradable artificial structure and form the tissue in vitro, or this scaffold can be implanted into a tissue defect and support the three dimensional  tissue regeneration in vivo. These scaffolds should be able to provide the biological clues and sufficient surface area for cell attachment and allow cell migration as well. Currently, the development of nanofibrous structures comprising single or blended materials has greatly enhanced the scope for fabricating scaffolds that can potentially meet above challenges. However, the resulting scaffolds of either natural or synthetic polymers display certain limitations such as lack of mechanical strength or biocompatibility. Therefore, there is a need to develop a novel structure to overcome these limits for tissue engineered scaffolds. Polycaprolactone (PCL) fibre is widely fabricated using electrospinning technique and has shown great potentials in tissue engineering and drug delivery. Peptide self-assembling nanostructures have also been receiving great attention in wide range of applications such as bone regeneration, axon regeneration and cartilage tissue repair. Peptides are ideal to biologically mimic extra cellular matrix (ECM) and enhance cell adhesion, migration, proliferation and cellular differentiation. However their drawback is linked to their weak biomechanical stability and strength. This study aims to develop, assemble and characterise a novel scaffold which successfully encapsulates and encourage peptide self assembling within polymeric fibres of PCL.



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