Kang Liang

Senior Lecturer
Chemical Engineering
Contact details:
+61 2 93854337

Science and Engineering Building (E8), UNSW Sydney, Kensington

Dr Kang Liang is a group leader of Nano-Micro-Bio Systems. He is an NHMRC Career Development Fellow and UNSW Scientia Senior Lecturer. He received his Bachelor (Hon) and PhD degrees from the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The University of Melbourne in 2010 and 2014, respectively. After conferral of his PhD, he joined CSIRO Manufacturing under the Office-of-the-Chief-Executive scheme in 2014 as a research fellow and then became a research scientist. In 2017, he joined the School of Chemical Engineering and the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering at UNSW Sydney. Dr Liang is also an Honorary Fellow at The University of Melbourne and Monash University. He is an awardee of Victoria Fellowship in Physical Sciences in 2017.

Google Scholar profile

  • PhD scholarships available! We encourage highly motivated PhD and MPhil students to join our group.
  • Postdoctoral researchers please do not hesitate to contact me about possible funding opportunities. 


Research interests                           

Interfacial Engineering of Nanostructured Materials

We are interested in interfacial engineering of nanostructured materials, in particular coordination based materials; understanding the material properties at a fundamental molecular level and relating nanostructure characteristics to bulk properties and material performance.

  •  Adv. Funct. Mater. 2019, 1905321
  •  Chem, 2019, 5, 1597
  •  Mater. Today 2019, 28, 10
  •  Appl. Mater. Today 2018, 10, 93
  •  Acc. Chem. Res. 2017, 50, 1423
  •  Adv. Mater. 2016, 28, 7910
  •  Nat. Commun. 2015, 6, 7240
  •  Chem. Commun. 2017, 53, 1249
  •  Adv. Funct. Mater. 2016, 26, 5827
  •  CrystEngComm 2016, 18, 4264
  •  Chem. Commun 2016, 52, 473
  •  Adv. Mater. 2015, 27, 7293
  •  Chem. Mater. 2015, 27, 7903



We are interested in engineering nanobionics by interfacing nanomaterials with living organisms to introduce new or enhanced biological functions.

  • Science Advances 2020, 6, eaaz0330 
  • Adv. Funct. Mater. 2019, 1905321
  • Adv. Funct. Mater. 2019, 29, 1808900
  • Small 2018, 14, 1702958
  • Appl. Mater. Today 2018, 10, 93
  • Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 8510
  • Adv. Mater. 2016, 28, 7910


Biomimetics and Biomineralization

Biominerals, formed by living organisms through the self-organization of inorganic and organic building blocks, possess diverse and highly-organized hierarchical structures with superior material properties. Biomineralization has served as a source of inspiration for the development of materials with highly controllable and specialized properties. Our group first introduced the biomineralization of coordination materials, showing potential in catalysis, drug delivery, cytoprotection, and cell manipulation.

  • Appl. Mater. Today 2018, 10, 93
  • Chem. Commun. 2017, 53, 1249
  • Adv. Mater. 2016, 28, 7910
  • Nat. Commun. 2015, 6, 7240
  • CrystEngComm 2016, 18, 4264
  • Chem. Commun. 2016, 52, 473
  • Adv. Mater. 2015, 27, 7293


Smart Nano-micro-bio Systems

We are interested in developing smart bioactive nanomaterials by interfacing bioactive compounds with functional materials, making it possible to perform desired tasks rapidly and efficiently when needed. These systems will have great potential for advanced energy and biotechnological applications.

  • Chem. Sci. 2019, 10, 7852
  • Mater. Today 2019, 28, 10
  • Adv. Funct. Mater. 2019, 201808900 
  • Chem, 2019, 5, 1597
  • Adv. Sci. 2018, 5, 1801155 
  • Nat. Commun. 2015, 6, 7240


Publication highlights

  • J. Liang, K. Liang* "Biocatalytic Metal-Organic Frameworks: Prospects Beyond Bioprotective Porous Matrices" Adv. Funct. Mater. 2020, doi: 10.1002/adfm.202001648.
  • Z. Guo, J. J. Richardson, B. Kong, K. Liang* "Nanobiohybrids: Materials approaches for bioaugmentation" Sci. Adv. 2020, 6, eaaz0330
  • J. Liu, Z. Guo, K. Liang* "Biocatalytic metal-organic framework-based artificial cells" Adv. Funct. Mater. 2019, 1905321.
  • J. Liang, F, Mazur, C. Tang, X. Ning,* R. Chandrawati,* K. Liang* "Peptide-Induced Super-Assembly of Biocatalytic Metal-Organic Frameworks for Programmed Enzyme Cascade" Chem. Sci. 2019, 10, 7852-7858
  • Z. Guo, T. Wang, A. Rawal, J. Hou, Z. Cao, H. Zhang, J. Xu, Z Gu,* V. Chen, K. Liang* "Biocatalytic self-propelled submarine-like microparticles with pH-triggered buoyancy control for directional vertical motion" Mater. Today 2019, 28, 10-16.
  • S. Gao, J. Hou,* Z. Deng, T. Wang, S. Beyer, A. Guilherme Buzanich, J. J. Richardson, A. Rawal, R. Seidel, M. Y. Zulkifli, W. Li, T. D. Bennett,  A. K. Cheetham, K. Liang,* V Chen "Improving the acidic stability of zeolitic imidazolate frameworks by bio-functional molecules" Chem 2019, 5, 1597-1608.
  • S. Gao, J. Hou, J. Zeng, J. J. Richardson, Z. Gu, X. Gao, D. Li, M. Gao, D.-W. Wang, P. Chen, V. Chen,* D. Zhao, B. Kong,* K. Liang* “Super-assembled Biocatalytic Porous Framework Micromotors with Reversible and Sensitive pH-Speed Regulation at Ultralow Physiological H2O2 Concentration” Adv. Funct. Mater. 2019, 29, 1808900.
  • Y. Chu, J. Hou, C. Boyer, J. J. Richardson,* K. Liang,* J. Xu* "Biomimetic synthesis of coordination network materials: Recent advances in MOFs and MPNs" Appl. Mater. Today 2018, 10, 93-105.
  • J. J. Richardson,* K. Liang* ”Nano‐Biohybrids: In Vivo Synthesis of Metal–Organic Frameworks inside Living Plants“ Small 2018, 141702958.
  • K. Liang,* J.J. Richardson, C.J. Doonan, X. Mulet, Y. Ju, J. Cui, F. Caruso, P. Falcaro* "An Enzyme‐Coated Metal–Organic Framework Shell for Synthetically Adaptive Cell Survival" Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 8510.
  • K. Liang,* J.J. Richardson, J. Cui, F. Caruso, C.J. Doonan, P. Falcaro* "Metal–Organic Framework Coatings as Cytoprotective Exoskeletons for Living Cells" Adv. Mater. 2016, 28, 7910.
  • K. Liang,* C. Carbonell, M.J. Styles, R. Ricco, J. Cui, J.J. Richardson, D. Maspoch, F. Caruso, P. Falcaro* "Biomimetic Replication of Microscopic Metal–Organic Framework Patterns Using Printed Protein Patterns" Adv. Mater. 2015, 27, 7293.
  • K. Liang,* R. Ricco, C.M. Doherty, M.J. Styles, S. Bell, N. Kirby, S. Mudie, D. Haylock, A.J. Hill, C.J. Doonan, P. Falcaro* "Biomimetic mineralization of metal-organic frameworks as protective coatings for biomacromolecules" Nat. Commun. 2015, 6, 7240.
  • K. Liang, J.J. Richardson, H. Ejima, G.K. Such, J. Cui, F. Caruso* "Peptide‐Tunable Drug Cytotoxicity via One‐Step Assembled Polymer Nanoparticles" Adv. Mater. 2014, 26, 2398.
  • K. Liang, GK Such, APR Johnston, Z Zhu, H Ejima, JJ Richardson, J Cui, F Caruso* "Endocytic pH‐Triggered Degradation of Nanoengineered Multilayer Capsules" Adv. Mater. 2014, 26, 1901.
  • J.J. Richardson, K. Liang, K Kempe, H Ejima, J Cui, F Caruso* "Immersive Polymer Assembly on Immobilized Particles for Automated Capsule Preparation" Adv. Mater. 2013, 25, 6874.
  • H. Ejima, JJ Richardson, K Liang, JP Best, MP van Koeverden, GK Such, J Cui, F Caruso* "One-Step Assembly of Coordination Complexes for Versatile Film and Particle Engineering" Science 2013, 341, 154.
  • K. Liang, GK Such, Z Zhu, SJ Dodds, APR Johnston, J Cui, H Ejima, F Caruso* "Engineering cellular degradation of multilayered capsules through controlled cross-linking" ACS Nano 2012, 6, 10186.
  • K. Liang, GK Such, Z Zhu, Y Yan, H Lomas, F Caruso* "Charge‐Shifting Click Capsules with Dual‐Responsive Cargo Release Mechanisms" Adv. Mater. 2011, 23, H273.