Professor Darren Martin
Professor Darren Martin

BApplSci (Materials) UTS, PhD UTS
AIBN Deputy Director (Graduate Studies) and Group Leader


Telephone: +61 7 334 63870 Email:

Research: Renewable nanomaterials and Polymer nanocomposites

Professor Darren Martin is a global leader in research and commercialisation of polyurethanes, polymer nanocomposites and renewable nanomaterials. In addition to many high impact publications, his research has led to several licensed and granted patents, with a proven track record in “end-to-end innovation”. The Martin Group takes fundamental discoveries and learnings in materials science and biology and progresses the science, engineering, regulation and translation of these technologies for the benefit of Queensland and Australia. Current active platforms include the unique cellulose nanofibres from Australian spinifex arid grasses, and organosilicate nano additives being commercialised by the AIBN spin-out company TenasiTech Pty Ltd.

He has been an active researcher in both the ARC Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials and UQ’s Centre for High Performance Polymers. Martin has been the Founder and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of the successful UQ startup company TenasiTech Pty Ltd ( since 2007. TenasiTech is the first Queensland start-up to receive Commercialisation Australia funding; has won the prestigious iLab Prize in the national Enterprize Competition; and received the 2010 UQ EAIT Commercialisation award.

As inventor and research leader of the spinifex nanocellulose platform technology, Professor Martin won a 2016 UQ Partners in Research Excellence Award (PIREA) for ongoing engagement, co-development and commercialisation of this technology with The Dugalunji Aboriginal Corporation in remote NW QLD.


Professor Martin’s local and international collaborators include Monash University, The University of Auckland, The University of Padova, Italy, Purdue University, USA, and several others in North America, Europe and Asia.

In 2016 Professor Martin was involved in signing an agreement between UQ and the Dugalunji Aboriginal Corporation (DAC) to recognise local Aboriginal traditional owners’ knowledge about spinifex and to ensure that they will have ongoing equity and involvement in the commercialisation of the nanocellulose technology. His team currently work with DAC and several local and international organisations and companies to co-develop, trial and translate this renewable nanotechnology platform.

Memberships, patents and funding

Professor Martin has been the recipient of three Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grants and has secured more than $12.5 million in research and commercialisation funding since 1999. He has worked with Australian regulators such as NICNAS and WorkSafe Australia on policy for nanomaterials/nanocomposites safety and occupational hygiene. Professor Martin has been an active member of the Engineers Australia Nanoengineering panel and has presented more than 15 keynotes and plenary talks to international conferences, and in recent times has often been asked to provide perspective on discovery, innovation and translation. During the past five years a large proportion of his research funding has been derived from the private sector.

Professor Martin is an inventor on the following list of patent families in the fields of polymer nanocomposites and nanocellulose:

  • Granted Patent - D.J. Martin and G.A. Edwards, The University of Queensland, “Polymer Composite” – Priority Aug 30, 2004, PCT May 19, 2005 (WO/2006/024068), First Granted 9 Dec 2010 (AU, CAN, USA)
  • Granted Patent - D.J. Martin and G.A. Edwards, The University of Queensland, “Polymer Composites Having Particles With Mixed Organic Modifications” – Priority Apr 15, 2008, PCT Apr 15, 2009 (WO/2009/127000), First Granted 21 Jan 2014 (USA, EU, AU)
  • Granted Patent - D.J. Martin, G.A. Edwards and C. Chaleat, The University of Queensland, “Scratch resistant polymers” – Priority Jun 6, 2013, PCT Jun 5, 2014 (WO/2014/194380) (AU, BRA, CHN, IND, USA, EU)
  • PCT Patent - D.J. Martin, N. Amiralian and P. A. Kumar, The University of Queensland, “Nanocellulose” – Priority Nov 22, 2013, PCT Nov 21, 2014 (WO/2015/074120)
  • PCT Patent - D.J. Martin and N. Amiralian, The University of Queensland, “Nanocomposite Elastomers” – Priority 8 Dec, 2014, PCT 7 Dec, 2015 (PCT/AU2015/050773)

Key publications

Belcher C, Marshall R, Edwards G, Martin DJ. (2012) The Commercialization of Nanotechnology: The Five Critical Success Factors to a Nanotech-enabled Whole Product, in Nanotechnology Commercialization. Tsuzuki T (Ed.), Singapore: Pan Stanford Publishing. ISBN: 9789814303286.

Amiralian, N., Annamalai, P. K., Memmott, P., Taran, E., Schmidt, S. and Martin, D. J. (2015), Easily deconstructed, high aspect ratio cellulose nanofibres from Triodia pungens; an abundant grass of Australia's arid zone. RSC Advances, 5(41), 32124-32132.

Amiralian, N., Annamalai, P. K., Memmott, P. and Martin, D. J. (2015), Isolation of cellulose nanofibrils from Triodia pungens via different mechanical methods. Cellulose, 22(4), 2483-2498.

Mortimer G. M., Butcher N. J., Musumeci A. W., Deng Z. J., Martin D. J. and Minchin R. F. (2014), Cryptic epitopes of albumin determine mononuclear phagocyte system clearance of nanomaterials. ACS Nano, 8(4), 3357-3366.

Andriani, Y., Jack, K. S., Gilbert, E. P., Edwards, G. A., Schiller, T. L., Strounina, E., Osman, A.F. and Martin, D. J. (2013). Organization of mixed dimethyldioctadecylammonium and choline modifiers on the surface of synthetic hectorite. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 409, 72-79.

Musumeci, A., Gosztola, D., Schiller, T., Dimitrijevic, N. A., Vladimiro, M., Martin D. and Rajh, T. (2009). SERS of semiconducting nanoparticles (TiO2 hybrid composites). JACS Communication, 131(17), 6040-6041.

McNally, T., Pötschke, P., Halley, P., Murphy, M., Martin, D., Bell, S. E. J., Brennan, G. P., Bein, D., Lemoine, P. and Quinn, J. P. (2005). Polyethylene multiwalled carbon nanotube composites. Polymer, 46(19), 8222-8232.

Smart, S. K., Cassady, A. I., Lu, G. Q. and Martin, D. J. (2006). The biocompatibility of carbon nanotubes. Carbon, 44(6), 1034-1047.

Finnigan, B., Jack, K., Campbell, K., Halley, P., Truss, R., Casey, P., Cookson, D., King, S. and Martin, D. (2005). Segmented polyurethane nanocomposites: Impact of controlled size nanofillers on the morphological response to uniaxial deformation. Macromolecules, 38(17), 7386-7396.

Finnigan, B., Martin, D., Halley, P., Truss, R. and Campbell, K. (2004). Morphology and properties of thermoplastic polyurethane nanocomposites incorporating hydrophilic layered silicates. Polymer, 45(7), 2249-2260.

Martin, D. J., Poole-Warren, L. A., Gunatillake, P. A., McCarthy, S. J., Meijs, G. J. and Schindhelm, K. (2000). Polydimethylsiloxane/polyether-mixed macrodiol-based polyurethane elastomers: biostability. Biomaterials, 21(10), 1021-1029.

Recent publications

Full list of publications available at UQ eSpace.

Professor Darren Martin section


Go to top