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Dr. Tom Swift,
Associate Professor

Information about Dr. Tom Swift at the University of Bradford.

School of Chemistry & Biosciences
(Faculty of Life Sciences)
+44 1274 235487
Photo of Dr. Tom Swift


Dr Swift's research focuses on functional polymer materials; primarily stimuli responsive macromolecules which respond to their surroundings. These have application in various biotechnologies (both disease sensing and controlled delivery of treatments), in formulation science and broader engineering applications. He has an interest in developing new characterisation techniques to better understand these complex material systems. He received a degree as a master of Chemistry (MChem Industry) from the University of York, having spent his fourth year at an industrial placement at AkzoNobel’s Decorative Paints division researching novel film functionality where he remained for a brief period developing novel paint formulations. He later began a PhD at the University of Sheffield where he specialised in stimuli responsive polymer synthesis and analysis, in a range of fields and applications including; fluorescence tagging, material characterisation, solution behavior of smart polymers and an understanding of water treatment processes. Practical experience with free radical, RAFT and ATRP methods of synthesising both linear polymers, branched polymers and hydrogels, extensive use of GPC techniques and time resolved fluorescence spectrometers.He took up his post as Lecturer at the University of Bradford September 2016, originally as Lecturer in Polymer Characterisation before receiving a promotion to Lecturer in Polymer Chemistry in 2019. He was the Programme Lead for the BSc Chemistry Apprenticeship until January 2023, a level 6 training program for the Laboratory Scientist standard. He is also a co-investigator of the Project CAYMAN and Project SIBLING industrial collaborations - funding designed to encourage access to academic expertise across the north of England.


I study functional polymer materials - linking molecular interactions of long chain molecules to applied uses in healthcare or engineering. My training during my PhD provided me synthetic expertise in self condensing vinyl polymerisation, controlled polymerisation (RAFT, ATRP, Cationic ring opening polymerisation). Doctor Swift is particularly interested in controlling the size and architecture of functional polymer materials and this requires advanced techniques to control the rates and direction of polymerisation reactions. I am particularly interested in polymers as stimuli responsive materials, and so do research into the complex physics that drive their solution or solid state behaviour. One recent research interest has been the discovery that the pH responsive solution behaviour of poly(acrylic acid) is driven by pH. Polymers interact with a range of other materials and Dr Swift is interested in the way polymers interact with each other or other components in solution.


Details on teaching interests, highlights and modules are available for Dr. Tom Swift as follows:

Teaching interests

My focus is Research led teaching. I train students to gain new abilities, skills and insight to develop themselves as excellent researchers. From 2017 to 2023 I was the programme leader for our BSc Chemistry Apprenticeship programme (a part time programme delivering education to Laboratory Scientist Level 6 Apprenticeship students). I sit on the national Level 6 and Level 7 Laboratory and Research Scientist Apprenticeship trailblazer committees, discussing the needs of scientists in industry with professional bodies, representatives from industry and civil servants to ensure that we are teaching science students to meet the needs of future industry. At Bradford I am the module leader for the BSc Chemistry practical laboratory modules - meaning I have oversight of all practical taught laboratory classes throughout the programme. I also teach taught content in Materials Characterisation and Imaging, and oversee final research dissertation for our Materials Chemistry and Analytical Science MSc students.

Teaching highlights

Programme Leader for BSc Chemistry Apprenticeship (2018 - 2023)Co-ordinate and plan for our distance learning, industrially focused BSc Chemistry course.In addition to this role I deliver on the following modules CFS4026-D - Practical Chemistry 1 - Module leader (2016 - 2020, 2023 - )CFS7018-B - Materials Characterisation (Module Leader, 50% module load)CFS7028-B - Imaging (50% module load)CFS7023-E - Research Project - Advanced Investigations (Module Leader 2016 - )Past:CFS5018-B - Physical Chemistry 2 (Colloids content - 2020 only)And I have offered student research supervision for projects in the following modules:CFS7005-E - Stage Four Research Project (MChem)CFS7023-E - Research Project - Advanced Investigations BIS6026-D - Biomedical Science Research ProjectBIS7005-E - Research Project (Biomedical Science)ARC6025-D - Dissertation (Archaeology)

Teaching modules

Information about programme modules taught by Dr. Tom Swift.
Title Subject Module code Year
Advanced Laboratory and Research Skills Chemistry Since 2024
Practical Chemistry 1 Chemistry 2016 to 2020, then since 2023
Practical Chemistry 2 Chemistry Since 2024
Research Project - Advanced Investigation Chemistry Since 2019
Practical Chemistry 1 (for Apprentices Chemistry (Apprenticeship) 2018 to 2020, then since 2023
Materials Characterisation Chemistry Since 2019


There are 46 publications involving or that are attributed to Dr. Tom Swift. They are listed as:

  • book chapter (1)
  • peer reviewed journal (45)

Book Chapter

Dr. Tom Swift has 1 publication(s) listed under book chapter.
Title Year Publication name Journal Volume Pages Authors Editors ISSN Publisher DOI Location
pH Dependence of Acrylate-Derivative Polyelectrolyte Properties 2019 Acrylate Polymers for Advanced Applications Acrylate Polymers for Advanced Applications Thomas Swift IntechOpen 10.5772/intechopen.82569

Peer Reviewed Journal

Dr. Tom Swift has 45 publication(s) listed under peer reviewed journal.
Title Year Publication name Journal Volume Pages Authors Editors ISSN Publisher DOI Location
The pH-responsive behaviour of poly(acrylic acid) in aqueous solution is dependent on molar mass 2016 RSC Soft Matter 12 Swift, Thomas; Swanson, L.; Geoghegan, M.; Rimmer, Stephen
Evaluating the Irritant Factors of Silicone and Hydrocolloid Skin Contact Adhesives Using Trans-Epidermal Water Loss, Protein Stripping, Erythema, and Ease of Removal 2023 ACS Applied Biomaterials Edward Dyson, Stephen Sikkink, Davide Nocita, Peter Twigg, Gill Westgate, and Thomas Swift* ACS 10.1021/acsabm.3c00874
Supramolecular chemistry enables vat photopolymerization 3D printing of novel water-soluble tablets 2023 International Journal of Pharmaceutics 643 123286 Jun Jie Ong, Yee Lam Chow, Simon Gaisford, Michael T Cook, Thomas Swift, Richard Telford, Stephen Rimmer, Yujia Qin, Yang Mai, Alvaro Goyanes, Abdul W Basit 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2023.123286
Real-Time Determination of Molecular Weight: Use of MaDDOSY (Mass Determination Diffusion Ordered Spectroscopy) to Monitor the Progress of Polymerization Reactions 2024 ACS Polymers Au Owen Tooley;William Pointer;Rowan Radmall,;Mia Hall;Thomas Swift,;James Town,;Cansu Aydogan,;Tanja Junkers,;Paul Wilson,;Daniel Lester;David Haddleton 10.1021/acspolymersau.4c00020
MaDDOSY (Mass Determination Diffusion Ordered Spectroscopy) using an 80 MHz Bench Top NMR for the Rapid Determination of Polymer, Macromolecular Molecular Weight 2024 Macromolecular Rapid Communications Owen Tooley, William Pointer, Rowan Radmall, Mia Hall, Valentin Beyer, Kieran Stakem, Thomas Swift, James Town, Tanja Junkers, Paul Wilson, Daniel Lester, David Haddleton 10.1002/marc.202300692
Insight into the Liposomal Encapsulation of Mono and Bis-Naphthalimides 2024 RSC Pharmaceutics Abdullahi Magaji Dauda,Thomas Swift, Richard Telford, Hend A. A. Abd El-waha, Chhanda Charan Danta, Klaus Pors and Amalia Ruiz Royal Society of Chemistry 10.1039/D3PM00060E
Oligo(styryl)benzenes liposomal AIE-dots for bioimaging and phototherapy in an in vitro model of prostate cancer 2024 Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 670 Víctor Vázquez-Villar;Chandrima Das;Tom Swift;Jacobo Elies;Juan Tolosa;Joaquín C. García-Martínez;Amalia Ruiz Elsevier 10.1016/j.jcis.2024.05.042
Design and Modelling of an Induction Heating Coil to Investigate the Thermal Response of Magnetic Nanoparticles for Hyperthermia Applications 2024 BioMedInformatics 4 Philip Drake;Ali Algaddafi;Thomas. Swift;Raed. A. Abd-Alhameed 2673-7426 10.3390/biomedinformatics4020056
Investigation into the development of novel lanthanide-based luminescent colorants for application to textiles and paper materials 2023 Coloration Technology D M Lewis, P J Broadbent, M L A Rigout, C M Carr*, C C Seaton, and T Swift
Fluorescence spectroscopy analysis of fly ash removal from aqueous systems: adsorption of alginate to silica and alumina 2022 RSC Soft Matter 18 Fateh Eltaboni, Sehaj Singh, Linda Swanson, Thomas Swift, Abdulraheem SA Almaki 10.1039/D2SM00558A
Interfacial Cocrystallization Using Oily Phase via Liquid−Liquid Phase Separation 2022 CRYSTAL GROWTH & DESIGN (ONLINE) 22 M. Asim Sajid Al-Hanafi, Mhd Bashir Alsirawan, Colin C. Seaton, Thomas Swift, Sudhir Pagire, Venu R. Vangala, Adrian L. Kelly, and Anant Paradkar
Peristomal Skin Complications: New Materials Needed to Ease the Ostomy Care Market 2023 British Journal of Dermatology Thomas Swift 10.1093/bjd/ljad006
Stabilisation of acrylic latexes containing silica nanoparticles for dirt repellent coating applications 2023 Polymer 271 Thomas Swift Elsevier 10.1016/j.polymer.2023.125830
Chain-Extendable Crosslinked Hydrogels Using Branching RAFT Modification 2023 Gels (Basel, Switzerland) 9 Stephen Rimmer, Paul Spencer, Davide Nocita, John Sweeney, Marcus Harrison and Thomas Swift 10.3390/gels9030235
Generation and Use of Functional Hydrogels That Can Rapidly Sample Infected Surfaces 2022 MethodsX unknown Thomas Swift, Abigail Pinnock, Nagaveni Shivshetty, David Pownall, Sheila MacNeil, Ian Douglas, Prashant Garg, Stephen Rimmer 10.1016/j.exer.2021.108881
Evaluation of ligand modified poly (N-Isopropyl acrylamide) hydrogel for etiological diagnosis of corneal infection 2022 Experimental Eye Research 214 Thomas Swift, Sheila MacNeil, Stephen Rimmer, David Pownall, C. W. Ian Douglas, Prashant Garg, Nagaveni Shivshetty, Abigail Pinnock 10.1016/J.EXER.2021.108881
Branched amphotericin functional poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide): an antifungal polymer 2021 Royal Society Open Science 8 Thomas Swift, Emily Caseley, Abbigail Pinnock, Joanna Shepherd, Nagaveni Shivshetty, Prashant Garg, C. W. Ian Douglas, Sheila MacNeil and Stephen Rimmer 10.1098/rsos.201655
Förster resonance energy transfer in fluorophore labeled poly(2-ethyl-2-oxazoline)s† 2020 Journal of Materials Chemistry C 8 Ronald Merck Thomas Swift, Ryan Rees, Joachim F. R. Van Guyse, Ella Schoolaert, Karen De Clerck, Heidi Ottevaere, Hugo Thienpont, Valentin Victor Jerca and Richard Hoogenboom Royal Society of Chemistry 10.1039/D0TC02830D
Development of a novel micro-bead force spectroscopy approach to measure the ability of a thermo-active polymer to remove bacteria from a corneal model 2021 Scientific Reports 11 J. Pattem, T. Swift, S. Rimmer, T. Holmes, S. MacNeil & J. Shepherd 10.1038/s41598-021-93172-1
Semi-interpenetrating Polyurethane Network Foams Containing Highly Branched Poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) with Vancomycin Functionality 2021 ACS Applied Biomaterials 4 4319 - 4327 Thomas Swift, Richard Hoskins, John Hicks, Edward Dyson, Marc Daignault, Dorothy Buckle, C. W. Ian Douglas, Sheila MacNeil, and Stephen Rimmer 10.1021/acsabm.1c00116
Effect of polymerisation by microwave on the physical properties of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) specific for caffeine 2020 Polymer Chemistry 11 5778 - 5789 Heli A. Brahmbhatt, Alexander Surtees, Cavan Tierney, Oluwabukunmi A. Ige, Elena V. Piletska, Thomas Swift and Nicholas W. Turner Royal Society of Chemistry 10.1039/D0PY00921K
Developments in silicone technology for use in stoma care 2020 British Journal of Nursing 29 S6 - S15 Swift T.;Westgate G.;Van Onselen J.;Lee S. 0966-0461 10.12968/bjon.2020.29.6.S6
Fluorescence Spectroscopy Analysis of Bacteria Mineral Interface Adsorption of Lipopolysaccharides to Silica and Alumina 2020 Langmuir 36 Fateh El-Taboni, Emily Caseley, Maria Katsikogianni, Linda Swanson, Thomas Swift,* 4andMariaE.Romero-Gonzaĺez* American chemical society
Highly branched poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) functionalized with an inducer molecule suppresses quorum sensing in Chromobacterium violaceum 2019 Chemical Communications 55 9765 - 9768 Shepherd, J.; Swift, Thomas; Chang, Chien-Yi; Boyne, J.R.; Rimmer, Stephen; Martin, William H.C.
Osteoinduction of 3D printed particulate and short-fibre reinforced composites produced using PLLA and apatite-wollastonite 2019 Composites Science and Technology 184 Melo P.;Ferreira A.;Waldron K.;Swift T.;Gentile P.;Magallanes M.;Marshall M.;Dalgarno K. 0266-3538 10.1016/j.compscitech.2019.107834
Short phosphate glass fiber - PLLA composite to promote bone mineralization 2019 Materials Science and Engineering C 104 109929 Priscila Melo, Emma Tarrant, Thomas Swift, Anthony Townshend, Matthew German, Ana-Marina Ferreira, Piergiorgio Gentile, Kenneth Dalgarno Elsevier 10.1016/j.msec.2019.109929
A Method for Estimation of Plasma Protein Binding Using Diffusion Ordered NMR Spectroscopy (DOSY) 2024 Rsc Medicinal Chemistry Rachel Taylor;David Wilkinson;Thomas Swift;Kamyar Afarinkia Royal Society of Chemistry 10.1039/D4MD00244J
Highly-branched poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) functionalised with pendant Nile red and chain end vancomycin for the detection of Gram-positive bacteria 2019 Acta Biomaterialia 87 197 - 206 Swift, Thomas; Katsikogianni, Maria G.; Hoskins, Richard; Teratarantorn, P.; Douglas, I.; MacNeil, S.; Rimmer, Stephen
A muscle mimetic polyelectrolyte–nanoclay organic–inorganic hybrid hydrogel: its self-healing, shape-memory and actuation properties 2019 Journal of Materials Chemistry B 7 1475 - 1493 Banerjee, S.L.; Swift, Thomas; Hoskins, Richard; Rimmer, Stephen; Singha, N.K.
Highly-ordered onion micelles made from amphiphilic highly-branched copolymers 2018 Polymer Chemistry 9 5617 - 5629 Canning, S.L.; Ferner, J.M.F.; Mangham, N.M.; Wear, T.J.; Reynolds, S.W.; Morgan, J.; Fairclough, J.P.A.; King, S.M.; Swift, Thomas; Geoghegan, M.; Rimmer, Stephen
Polymer Conformation Determination by NMR Spectroscopy: Comparative Diffusion Ordered 1H-NMR Spectroscopy of Poly(2-Ethyl-2-Oxazoline)s and Poly(Ethylene Glycol) in D2O 2024 Polymer Chemistry Bryn D. Monnery;Valentin Victor Jerca;Richard Hoogenboom;Thomas Swift 10.1039/D4PY00505H
Antibiotic functionalised polymers reduce bacterial biofilm and bioburden in a simulated infection of the cornea 2018 Biomaterials Science 6 2101 - 2109 Doroshenko, N.; Rimmer, Stephen; Hoskins, Richard; Garg, P.; Swift, Thomas; Spencer, H.L.M.; Lord, Rianne M.; Katsikogianni, Maria G.; Pownall, D.; MacNeil, S.; Douglas, C.W.I.; Shepherd, J.
The effect of hyperbranched poly(acrylic acid)s on the morphology and size of precipitated nanoscale (fluor)hydroxyapatite 2017 Shallcross, L.; Roche, K.; Wilcock, C.J.; Stanton, K.T.; Swift, Thomas; Rimmer, Stephen; Hatton, P.V.; Spain, S.G.
A self-healable fluorescence active hydrogel based on ionic block copolymers prepared via ring opening polymerization and xanthate mediated RAFT polymerization 2018 Polymer Chemistry 9 1190 - 1205 Banerjee, S.L.; Hoskins, Richard; Swift, Thomas; Rimmer, Stephen; Singha, N.K.
Segmental mobility studies of poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) interactions with gold nanoparticles and its use as a thermally driven trapping system 2018 Macromolecular Rapid Communications 39 Swift, Thomas; Rehman, K.; Surtees, Alexander P.H.; Hoskins, Richard; Hickey, Stephen G.
Poly(acrylic acid) interpolymer complexes 2017 RSC Soft Matter 13 Swift, Thomas; Seaton, Colin C.; Rimmer, Stephen
Analysis Using Size Exclusion Chromatography of poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) using Methanol as an Eluent 2017 Journal of Chromatography A 1508 16 - 23 Swift, Thomas; Hoskins, Richard; Telford, Richard; Plenderleith, R.A.; Pownall, David; Rimmer, Stephen
Binding of bacteria to poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) modified with vancomycin: Comparison of behavior of linear and highly branched polymers 2017 Biomacromolecules 18 2887 - 2899 Teratanatorn, P.; Hoskins, Richard; Swift, Thomas; Douglas, C.W.I.; Shepherd, J.; Rimmer, Stephen
Förster Resonance Energy Transfer across interpolymer complexes of poly(acrylic acid) and poly(acrylamide) 2017 Swift, Thomas; Paul, N.; Swanson, L.; Katsikogianni, Maria G.; Rimmer, Stephen
Pseudo electron-deficient organometallics: limited reactivity towards electron-donating ligands 2017 Dalton Transactions 46 15676 Pitto-Barry, Anaïs; Lupan, A.; Zegke, Markus; Swift, Thomas; Attia, A.A.A.; Lord, Rianne M.; Barry, Nicolas P.E.
pH Responsive Highly Branched Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) with Trihistidine or Acid Chain Ends 2016 RSC Advances 6 71345 - 71350 Swift, Thomas; Lapworth, J.; Swindells, K.; Swanson, L.; Rimmer, Stephen
Poly(acrylic acid) interpolymer complexation: use of a fluorescence time resolved anisotropy as a poly(acrylamide) probe 2014 RSC Advances not known Swift, Thomas; Swanson, L.; Rimmer, Stephen
Highly-branched poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide)s with core-shell morphology below the lower critical solution temperature 2014 RSC Advances 4 Plenderleith, R.A.; Swift, Thomas; Rimmer, Stephen
Core (Polystyrene)−Shell [Poly(glycerol monomethacrylate)] Particles 2017 ACS APPLIED MATERIALS AND INTERFACES 9 7577 - 7590 Mckenzie, A.; Hoskins, Richard; Swift, Thomas; Grant, Colin A.; Rimmer, Stephen
Measuring poly(acrylamide) flocculants in fresh water using inter-polymer complex formation 2015 Environmental Science: Water Research And Technology 1 332 - 340 Swift, Thomas; Swanson, L.; Bretherick, A.; Rimmer, Stephen