Dr. Chaturanga D. Bandara

Contact / Address:


Phone +49 (0) 341 235 1360

Mobile: +49 (0) 1577 5577 222

Fax +49 (0) 341 235 450822

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Permoserstrasse 15
04318 Leipzig

LinkedIn: Chaturanga (Chatu) Bandara

Researchgate: Chiththaka-Chaturanga-Bandara

Dr. Chaturanga D. Bandara



(May 2022- Feb 2023)

Transmission of pathogenic SARS-CoV-2 occurs mainly via exhaled virus-containing areosols. Disinfection of such airbourne particles may pave way to reduce the pandemics like COVID-19 in the future. Within the AeroVIR project partners from academia and industry are working in collaboration to identify the infectiousness of air-bourne virus loaded saliva particles and potential infectiousness after exposed to multiple environmental conditions.

Workflows to identify the virus within airbourne particles and their infectiousness are urgently needed to be developed. Here we use Helium Ion Microscopy and fluorescent microscopic techniques to identify Corona infected cells.


(Mar 2020- Apr 2022)

Soils are heterogeneous mixtures of various organic materials, mineral particles, and pores, which provide a matrix for plant growth and resource recycling by microbiome. While maintaining the structural integrity, simultaneous microbial identification and chemical analysis of the rhizosphere at micro − to nano - meter spatial resolution will help to resolve spatial and temporal dynamics of the Rhizosphere. Our approach includes (i) a resin embedding and sectioning method suitable for simultaneous correlative characterization of Zea mays rhizosphere, (ii) an analytical work flow that allows up to six instruments/techniques to comprehensively characterise rhizosphere, and to (iii) correlate acquired imaging data to understand complex rhizosphere processes. This work is funded by DFG.

Bactericidal Nanopillar Surfaces

Some insects, like dragonflies and cicadas have evolved nanopillars on their wings which kills bacteria upon contact. This has inspired the fabrication of implant surfaces to achieve bactericidal action without use of antibiotics. Challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) development in bacteria has created an urgent need of developing alternative ways to control bacterial infections. This project aims to understand the process behind this bactericidal action of the nanopillars, so that the surfaces can be fabricated such that bacteria cannot form biofilms on them.

Work Experience

Since March 2020 Postdoc, ProVIS
Department of Isotope Biogeochemistry,
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)
Leipzig, Germany
2019-2020 Visiting Post-Doctoral Fellow
ithree Institute
University of Technology Sydney
Sydney, (NSW), Australia
2013-2017 PhD Scholar
Queensland University of Technology
Science and Engineering Faculty
Brisbane 4001, QLD, Australia
2010-2013 Master of Philosophy,
Chemical Sciences
Post Graduate Institute of Science,
University of Peradeniya,
Sri Lanka
2007-2010 Bachelor of Science,
Faculty of Science,
University of Peradeniya,
Sri Lanka

Field of Expertise

  • preparation of microbial samples for correlative characterization
  • high-resolution imaging (SEM, TEM and HIM) and spectroscopy
  • anti-bacterial surfaces
  • correlative microscopy
  • image-processing

Main Research Interests

  • Biomimetic Surfaces
  • Antimicrobial surfaces
  • Bio-nano interactions of bacteria and nanostructures
  • Interactions between microbes-plants-soil in the rhizosphere
  • Developing sample preparation methods for high-resolution microscopy techniques of biological samples
  • 2D-3D image registration
  • Deep Learning for image segmentation

Successful Funding Applications

  • Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship 2021
  • UKRI Postdoctoral Fellowship Guarantee 2022

MUBANY: Mechanically Understand the Bactericidal Action of Nanopillar Topography


If you are interested in doing an internship or thesis project, please send your application including CV, earliest starting date and topic of interest via email.


Chaturanga D. Bandara, Giulia Ballerin, Miika Leppänen, Tuquabo Tesfamichael, Kostya Ken Ostrikov, and Cynthia B. Whitchurch, 2020 "Resolving Bio–Nano Interactions of E. coli Bacteria–Dragonfly Wing Interface with Helium Ion and 3D-Structured Illumination Microscopy to Understand Bacterial Death on Nanotopography", ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, DOI: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.9b01973, 6 (7), 3925-3932

Chaturanga D. Bandara, S. Singh, Afara I.O. Wolff A. Tesfamichael T., Ostrikov K. Oloyede A. 2017. "Bactericidal Effects of Natural Nanotopography of Dragonfly Wing on Escherichia coli", ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.6b13666, 9(8), 6746-6760 (Q1) Altmetric attention score of 57, in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.

Karthika Prasad, Chaturanga D. Bandara, Shailesh Kumar, Gurinder Pal Singh, , Bastian Brockhoff, Kateryna Bazaka, Ken Ostrikov, 2017, "Effect of precursor on antifouling efficacy of vertically-oriented graphene nanosheets," Nanomaterials, DOI:10.3390/nano7070170, (7), 170

W.P.S.L. Wijesinghe, M.M.M.G.P.G. Mantilaka, K.G. Chathuranga Senarathna, H.M.T.U. Herath, T.N. Premachandra, C.S.K. Ranasinghe, R.P.V.J. Rajapakse, R.M.G. Rajapakse, Mohan Edirisinghe, S. Mahalingam, I.M.C.C.D. Bandara, Sanjleena Singh, 2016. “Preparation of bone-implants by coating hydroxyapatite nanoparticles on self-formed titanium dioxide thin-layers on titanium metal surfacesMaterials Science and Engineering: C, 63, 172-184 (Q1)

Rathnayake, W. G. I. U., H. Ismail, A. Baharin, I. M. C. C. D. Bandara and Sanath Rajapakse. 2013. "Enhancement of the antibacterial activity of natural rubber latex foam by the incorporation of zinc oxide nanoparticles." Journal of Applied Polymer Science:131(1). DOI: 10.1 002/app.39601

Srimala Perera, Bharat Bhushan, Rathnayake Bandara, Gamini Rajapakse, Sanath Rajapakse and Chaturanga Bandara. 2013. "Morphological, antimicrobial, durability, and physical properties of untreated and treated textiles using silver -nanoparticles." Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects 436 (0): 975-989. DOI: 10.1016/j.colsurfa.2013.08.038

Indrajith Rathnayake , Hanafi Ismail , Baharin Azahari , Chaturanga Bandara & Sanath Rajapakse (2013), "Novel Method of Incorporating Silver Nanoparticles into Natural Rubber Latex Foam", Polymer-Plastics Technology and Engineering, 52:9, 885-891, DOI 10.1080/03602559.2013.763366

Boon Peng Chang, Hazizan Md Akil, Ramdziah Bt Md Nasir, I.M.C.C.D. Bandara and Sanath Rajapakse. (2013) “The effect of ZnO nanoparticles on the mechanical, tribological and antibacterial properties of ultra – high molecular weight polyethylene,” Journal of Reinforced and Composites, 33 (7), 674-686 January, 2013, DOI: 10.1177/0731684413509426


Ph.D thesis (Queensland University of Technology, 2017):

Characterisation of the bactericidal efficacy of natural nano-topography using dragonfly wing as a model. DOI:10.5204/thesis.eprints.106746

M.Phil Thesis (University of Peradeniya, 2013):

Development of Self-Cleaning and Anti-Microbial Textile Material