Adjunct and Emeritus staff

Hans G. L. Coster

MSc PhD Syd., MInstP, CPhys, FAIP

Emeritus Professor

Department and Research Groups


UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science and Technology

Hans G. L. Coster

Research Interests

Membrane biophysics
Electrical properties of cell membranes and the electro-mechanics of living cells in electric fields, electrical breakdown of cell membranes. My research also includes studies of the assembly of proteins in cell membranes and the function of these protein ion transport and signalling units. My group has developed unique ultra low frequency impedance spectrometers which are used for the study of the assembly of bimolecular lipid membranes and the location and effects of antibiotics and other pharmacological agents in these membranes. Another area of interest is in organic molecular films covalently linked to silicon substrates. My group uses a variety of physical techniques such as X-ray photoelectric spectroscopy, X-ray and neutron reflectometry and atomic force microscopy in addition to low frequency impedance spectroscopy to study the properties of such nanostructures on silicon.

Another Area


I am involved, with my colleagues and students, into research and development in:
A new type of biosensor based on the electrical properties of molecular films. Novel electro-disinfection systems for water supplies. Improved industrial (polymer) membranes for molecular separations. The use of radio frequency electric fields manipulate and fuse individual living cells to create new hybrid cells and as a tool for genetic engineering of cells. WE are also developing a melanoma vaccine based cells expressing a plura-valent set of tumour antigens.

Selected Publications

  • AC Impedance of the Bipolar Membrane of Low & High Frequencies. H.G.L. Coster, T.C. Chilcott & E.P. George, J. Membrane Sci., 100, 77-86 (1995).
  • Forces on Biological Cells due to Applied Alternating (AC) Electric Fields I. H.G.L. Coster, T.L. Mahaworasilpa & E.P. George, Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 1193, 118-126 (1994).
  • The Effect of Electric Fields on the Molecular Organisation & Pharmacological Response of Cell Membranes, in Electropharmacology (Eds. H. Keyzer, F. Gutman & G. Eckert), CRC Press, N.Y. (1990).
  • AC Impedance Measurements on Chara corallina. III. Characterisation of the Plasma Membrane Coat Using a New Presentation of Impedance Spectra. T.C. Chilcott & H.G.L. Coster, Aust. J. Plant Physiol., 21, 147-168 (1994).
  • The Effect of Benzyl Alcohol & Cholesterol on the Acyl Chain Order & Alkane Solubility of Bimolecular Phosphatidylcholine Membranes. H.G.L. Coster & D.R. Laver, Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 861, 406-412 (1986).

Contact Details 

Mail Address

School of Physics
The University of New South Wales

Email Address

Phone Number

61 2 9385 4554
61 2 9385 4583  

Facsimile Number

61 2 9385 4484