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Professor Rui Krause

Professor Rui Werner Maçedo Krause, BSc (Wits), BSc Hons (Wits), PhD (Wits), MSACI, AMRSC

Professor of Organic and Nanomaterials Chemistry and Head of Department

As a relatively new staff member in the department I currently teach Organic Chemistry and some Nanomaterials Science.  My interests are an eclectic mix of Medicinal Chemistry, Organic and Nanomaterials, and through these interests I undertake research in Medicinal Chemistry, Drug Delivery and the application of Nanomaterials.  I have worked at Wits University, the Technikon Witwatersrand, and the University of Johannesburg, and since 2012 I have been at Rhodes.


Chemistry 1 – Organic Chemistry

Chemistry 2 – Fossil Fuels and Organic Chemistry

Masters – Coursework MSc in Nanoscience hosted at UWC


1)  Drug Delivery Systems

Many pharmaceutical products such as anti-cancer drugs suffer poor bio-distribution or poor kinetics in the body due to systemic issues such as low aqueous solubility or fast degradation.  This means that they cannot be used efficiently in treatment.  My group has applied a number of biomaterials such as alginate and chitosan as well as synthetic polymers like polylactic acid (PLA) to develop drug delivery systems.  In addition, the use of nanotechnology now allows the possibility of directing the drugs more accurately to the site of action. 

2)  Stimuli-Responsive Systems (SRS)

Materials that respond to changes in their environment are useful in many areas from pollutant sensors to biomaterials for health.  My group has used some of the expertise gained in drug delivery systems to build materials that respond to a range of changes in their environment such as changes in pH, changes in temperature, and changes in photons.

In the near future our focus will also change to include materials that respond to other stimuli like enzyme gradients and magnetic fields.

Many of these SR materials use large organic constructs like cyclodextrins, calixarenes and porphyrins, and some then have applications in medicinal chemistry and drug delivery. 

3)  Medicinal Natural Products

Our focus here has been Natural Products from African Plants, many of which are poorly studied.  We have a range of plants, but a strong focus on Erythrina species due to a long standing collaboration with the University of Yaoundé and the University of Buea in Cameroon, which started via the late Professor Fomum.

Most of the projects in Natural Products also combine some form of drug delivery to produce novel systems to tackle some of Africa’s neglected diseases such as Tuberculosis, Cancer, Diabetes and Leishmaniasis. 

4)  Nanomaterials for Water Treatment

This is my oldest research interest, derived from some of the carbon nanomaterials and titanium dioxide nanomaterials that started the UJ Centre for Nanomaterials Science (UJ CNS).

My group now works closely with the UJ CNS, the Center of Excellence in Strong Materials (CoESM) and the Nanotechnology Innovation Centre (NIC) to construct water treatment systems that are enhanced by nanomaterials.  These systems can be adsorbents such as cyclodextrin polyurethanes, or membranes such as poly-sulfone Nanofiltration Membranes (NF membranes) containing carbon nanotubes or nanofibers.

Some of the water treatment systems also contain photoactive catalysts such as TiO2 or ZnO to convert the pollutants to harmless nutrients using sunlight, and some contain photoactive and photochromic sensors to allow rapid detection of pollutants.

New Interests

As if the above was not enough, some of these investigations prompt new interdisciplinary projects such as the use of natural pigments in solar-energy conversion, or the delivery of photoactive nanoparticles for photodynamic cancer therapy.  I am always on the lookout for new collaborators so please feel free to come and chat or drop me a line.

Contact Information

Tel: +27 46 603 7030,   Fax: +27 46 622 5109

Postal Address: Department of Chemistry, Rhodes University, PO Box 94, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa,

Courier Address:  Room F41, Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences Building, Corner Artillery and University Rd, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa

E-mail: r.krause@ru.ac.za

Skype: Rui.Krause

Google Groups:  Prof-Rui-Krause



I have several national and international collaborators, some of whom are listed here

UJ CNS – Prof Ajay Mishra (www.uj.ac.za/chemical)

CoESM – Prof Neil Coville and Dr Shane Durbach (www.wits.ac.za/academic/ebe/4471/strongmaterials.html)

NIC Water Platform – Prof Bhekie Mamba (www.nic.ac.za)

CSIR / ANDI Nanomedicine Centre of Excellence- Dr H Swai (http://www.csir.co.za/msm/Encapsulation_and_Delivery/encap_delivery.html)

National Centre for Nano-structured Materials (http://ls-ncnsm.csir.co.za/)

University of Cordoba – Argentina Biological Chemistry Centre CIQUIBIC – Prof Bruno Maggio (http://www.ciquibic.gov.ar)

UNC Argentina Prof Alejandro Granados, Prof Rita Hoyos de Rossi, Dr Raquel Vico (http://www.fcq.unc.edu.ar/departamentos/dep_quimica_organica.php)

University of Buenos Aires – Argentina – Nanomedicine Prof Alejandro Sosnik (http://www.ffyb.uba.ar)

Indian Institute of Science – India – Prof Ashok Raichur (http://materials.iisc.ernet.in/~amr/Welcome.html), Prof S Sampath (http://ipc.iisc.ernet.in/sampath.html)

University of Buea – Dr J Foba (ubuea.net)

University of Yaounde 1 – Dr A Atchade and Prof J Mbafor (www.uy1.uninet.cm)

University of Cranfield – Prof Bruce Jefferson (http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/sas/aboutus/staff/jeffersonb.html)

UCLA – California NanoSystems Institute – Prof E Hoek (http://www1.cnsi.ucla.edu/institution/personnel?personnel_id=124316)

UNISWA – Swaziland (http://www.uniswa.sz/academics/science/chemistry)


Last Modified :Mon, 16 Nov 2015 14:49:42 SAST